Austere vs Sullen - What's the difference?

austere | sullen | Related terms |

Austere is a related term of sullen.

As adjectives the difference between austere and sullen

is that austere is austere while sullen is having a brooding ill temper; sulky.

As a noun sullen is

(obsolete) one who is solitary, or lives alone; a hermit.




  • Grim or severe in manner or appearance
  • The headmistress was an austere old woman.
  • Lacking trivial decoration; not extravagant or gaudy
  • The interior of the church was as austere as the parishioners were dour.


    * (grim or severe) stern, strict, forbidding * (lacking trivial decoration) simple, plain, unadorned, unembellished


    * (not lacking trivial decoration) overwrought, flamboyant, extravagant, gaudy, flashy

    Derived terms

    * austerity * austerely




  • Having a brooding ill temper; sulky.
  • * Prior
  • And sullen I forsook the imperfect feast.
  • Gloomy; dismal; foreboding.
  • * 1593 , , IV. v. 88:
  • Our solemn hymns to sullen dirges change;
  • Sluggish; slow.
  • * Sir Walter Scott
  • The larger stream was placid, and even sullen , in its course.
  • (obsolete) Lonely; solitary; desolate.
  • (obsolete) Mischievous; malignant; unpropitious.
  • * Dryden
  • Such sullen planets at my birth did shine.
  • (obsolete) Obstinate; intractable.
  • * Tillotson
  • Things are as sullen as we are.


    * sulky, morose


    * cheerful * content * lighthearted * pleased


    (en noun)
  • (obsolete) One who is solitary, or lives alone; a hermit.
  • (Piers Plowman)
  • Sullen feelings or manners; sulks; moroseness.
  • to have the sullens
  • * 1593 , , II. i. 139:
  • And let them die that age and sullens have;
    English adjectives ending in -en