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sully
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sully
as in:  sully her reputation


And though in near time we did sleep together (with a genuinely pleasing, if sober, conviviality), I came to think of that first interlude with a somewhat sorrowful fondness, for I saw that our days together were perhaps sullied from the very beginning and all the way through, right up to the last.
Chang-rae Lee  --  A Gesture Life
  to spoil or cast doubt upon a reputation — especially one that  was previously unblemished
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sullied sully sullying sullies
Notes:
Sully is most often encountered in classic literature.
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Samples:
  • And though in near time we did sleep together (with a genuinely pleasing, if sober, conviviality), I came to think of that first interlude with a somewhat sorrowful fondness, for I saw that our days together were perhaps sullied from the very beginning and all the way through, right up to the last.
    Chang-rae Lee  --  A Gesture Life
  • Maybe I would waste my time on skills I didn’t care about—like sword fighting or badminton—but I would not sully the memory of my once-perfect music and archery.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Trials of Apollo
  • "Well, Bud, I don’t mean to sully your reputation, but you just ran away from that man all the way across the state, I think I’d better hand-deliver you."
    Christopher Paul Curtis  --  Bud, Not Buddy
  • I didn’t see the sense in sullying whatever pleasant memories she had of her only brother.
    Scott Pratt  --  An Innocent Client

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  • After handing a slip of paper to Miss Sully, he caught my eye.
    Becca Fitzpatrick  --  Hush, Hush
  • He wouldn’t want it sullied by, you know, you.
    Dave Eggers  --  A Hologram for the King
  • Long after the last tinge of pink was gone, I kept going— rinsing and re-washing the hand towels I’d sullied, which still had a suspicious flush—and then, so tired I was reeling, got in the shower with water so hot I could barely stand it and scrubbed myself down all over again, head to toe, grinding the bar of soap in my hair and weeping at the suds that ran into my eyes.
    Donna Tartt  --  The Goldfinch
  • Worse, he is sullying the only thing her family owns: its good name.
    Sonia Nazario  --  Enrique’s Journey
  • "He will sully it then," returned Lucien; "for I am low—very low."
    Alexandre Dumas  --  The Count of Monte Cristo
  • The Three, fairest of all, the Elf-lords hid from him, and his hand never touched them or sullied them.
    J.R.R. Tolkien  --  The Fellowship of the Ring

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  • A woman who will be like a rock in a riverbed, enduring without complaint, her grace not sullied butshaped by the turbulence that washes over her.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  A Thousand Splendid Suns
  • My mother’s face was wavering, soft and malleable—almost as soft and malleable as the image of her that floated on the sullied water in the sink.
    Alice Sebold  --  The Lovely Bones
  • I was glad the water was not stagnant–it would be upsetting to sully it, filthy as I was, if that were the case.
    Stephenie Meyer  --  The Host
  • It left Eragon feeling sullied.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Eldest
  • So they inwardly resolved that so long as they remained in the business, their piracies should not again be sullied with the crime of stealing.
    Mark Twain  --  The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • His nether garment was a yellow nankeen, closely fitted to the shape, and tied at his bunches of knees by large knots of white ribbon, a good deal sullied by use.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Last of the Mohicans
  • He went on boiling with rage for several days and the next Sunday we were treated to a searing address on the toleration of Mutants which sullied the Purity of our community.
    John Wyndham  --  The Chrysalids
  • I’d never known love so pure, and I was afraid that it would become sullied by my mother.
    Amy Tan  --  The Joy Luck Club
  • Only one thing, I know: you said you were not as good as you should like to be, and that you regretted your own imperfection; — one thing I can comprehend: you intimated that to have a sullied memory was a perpetual bane.
    Charlotte Bronte  --  Jane Eyre
  • Because the world he lives in is rather sullied and unworthy, fallen even.
    Thomas C. Foster  --  How to Read Literature Like a Professor
  • Or, once more, the electric thrill would give her warning—"Behold Hester, here is a companion!" and, looking up, she would detect the eyes of a young maiden glancing at the scarlet letter, shyly and aside, and quickly averted, with a faint, chill crimson in her cheeks as if her purity were somewhat sullied by that momentary glance.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • He was afraid of sullying what his soul was brimful of.
    Leo Tolstoy  --  Anna Karenina
  • Wet blotches quickly sullied the virgin cloth.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Brisingr
  • Mr. Bumble, having spread a handkerchief over his knees to prevent the crumbs from sullying the splendour of his shorts, began to eat and drink; varying these amusements, occasionally, by fetching a deep sigh; which, however, had no injurious effect upon his appetite, but, on the contrary, rather seemed to facilitate his operations in the tea and toast department.
    Charles Dickens  --  Oliver Twist
  • For he was there quite quiet, not even suspecting that the ridicule of his name would henceforth sully hers as well as his.
    Gustave Flaubert  --  Madame Bovary
  • … Gentlemen, you’ve sullied my heart!
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky  --  The Brothers Karamazov
  • Having ascertained the places which it frequents and passes, they stop the way to them with mud, and then rousing it, drive it towards the spot, and as soon as the ermine comes to the mud it halts, and allows itself to be taken captive rather than pass through the mire, and spoil and sully its whiteness, which it values more than life and liberty.
    Miguel de Cervantes  --  Don Quixote
  • She had done everything to him except to criticise him—this she had not done— it seemed to him only because it might have sullied the utter indifference she manifested and sincerely felt toward him.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  Winter Dreams
  • She really didn’t want to have to start following him around with a pooper scooper, so as not to sully the newly sodded lawns.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  The Guardian
  • It may be James McDermott, come here to sully Grace’s reputation.
    Margaret Atwood  --  Alias Grace
  • I let her bawl away, to her heart’s content, KITTY O’SHEA and the rest of it till at last she called that lady a name that I won’t sully this Christmas board nor your ears, ma’am, nor my own lips by repeating.
    James Joyce  --  A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • In any case, it did not seem that the purpose of the story was to sully the name of Dr. Juvenal Urbino, whose memory enjoyed universal respect, but to injure the husband of Lucrecia del Real, who had been elected President of the Social Club the week before.
    Gabriel Garcia Marquez  --  Love in the Time of Cholera
  • The first peep out of him and into print it goes, sullying his good name far and wide.
    Milan Kundera  --  The Unbearable Lightness of Being
  • Marry, sir, here’s my drift; And I believe it is a fetch of warrant: You laying these slight sullies on my son As ’twere a thing a little soil’d i’ the working, Mark you, Your party in converse, him you would sound, Having ever seen in the prenominate crimes The youth you breathe of guilty, be assur’d He closes with you in this consequence; ’Good sir,’ or so; or ’friend,’ or ’gentleman’— According to the phrase or the addition Of man and country.
    William Shakespeare  --  Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
  • As a matter of fact, petted as he was by his two sisters and his old aunt, he had retained from this purely feminine education manners that were almost candid and stamped with a charm that nothing had yet been able to sully.
    Gaston Leroux  --  The Phantom of the Opera
  • Naturally, my father would have felt this loss keenly; but to make matters worse the usual comfort a father has in these situations - that is, the notion that his son gave his life gloriously for king and country - was sullied by the fact that my brother had perished in a particularly infamous manoeuvre.
    Kazuo Ishiguro  --  The Remains of the Day
  • Obviously, I should have preferred to ask you, as though it had been a matter of little or no importance, to give up your Nuit de Cleopatre (since you compel me to sully my lips with so abject a name), in the hope that you would go to it none the less.
    Marcel Proust  --  Swann’s Way
  • Partridge likewise shovelled in his share of calumny, and (what may surprize the reader) not only bespattered the maid, but attempted to sully the lily-white character of Sophia herself.
    Henry Fielding  --  Tom Jones
  • From this state of humiliation, she was roused, at the end of ten minutes, to a pleasanter feeling, by seeing, not Mr. Thorpe, but Mr. Tilney, within three yards of the place where they sat; he seemed to be moving that way, but he did not see her, and therefore the smile and the blush, which his sudden reappearance raised in Catherine, passed away without sullying her heroic importance.
    Jane Austen  --  Northanger Abbey
  • Even Dr. Barnard, who had made a study of the ANC, had received most of his information from police and intelligence files, which were in the main inaccurate and sullied by the prejudices of the men who had gathered them.
    Nelson Mandela  --  Long Walk to Freedom
  • How or by what means—for I scorn to sully her cause by falsehood or deceit—I do not know; at present I do not know, but I am not alone or single-handed in this business.
    Charles Dickens  --  Nicholas Nickleby
  • When she had administered these restoratives, as I was still quite hysterical, and unable to control my sobs, she put me on the sofa, with a shawl under my head, and the handkerchief from her own head under my feet, lest I should sully the cover; and then, sitting herself down behind the green fan or screen I have already mentioned, so that I could not see her face, ejaculated at intervals, ’Mercy on us!’ letting those exclamations off like minute guns.
    Charles Dickens  --  David Copperfield
  • He had not wished to tell her about the case because he had not wished her to sully her mind with the idea that there was such a thing as a brother officer who could be a blackmailer—and he had wanted to protect the credit of his old light of love.
    Ford Madox Ford  --  The Good Soldier
  • …duty, service, Did off, doffed, Dight, prepared, Dindled, trembled, Disadventure, misfortune, Discover, reveal, Disherited, disinherited, Disparpled, scattered, Dispenses, expenses, Disperplyd, scattered, Dispoiled, stripped, Distained, sullied, dishonoured, Disworship, shame, Dole, gift of alms, Dole, sorrow, Domineth, dominates, rules, Don, gift, Doted, foolish, Doubted, redoubtable, Draughts, privities, secret interviews, recesses, Drenched, drowned, Dress, make ready, Dressed…
    Thomas Malory  --  Le Morte D’Arthur
  • Dost think I am so muddy, so unsettled, To appoint myself in this vexation; sully The purity and whiteness of my sheets,— Which to preserve is sleep; which being spotted Is goads, thorns, nettles, tails of wasps; Give scandal to the blood o’ the prince, my son,— Who I do think is mine, and love as mine,— Without ripe moving to’t?
    William Shakespeare  --  The Winter’s Tale
  • …duty, service, Did off, doffed, Dight, prepared, Dindled, trembled, Disadventure, misfortune, Discover, reveal, Disherited, disinherited, Disparpled, scattered, Dispenses, expenses, Disperplyd, scattered, Dispoiled, stripped, Distained, sullied, dishonoured, Disworship, shame, Dole, gift of alms, Dole, sorrow, Domineth, dominates, rules, Don, gift, Doted, foolish, Doubted, redoubtable, Draughts, privities, secret interviews, recesses, Drenched, drowned, Dress, make ready, Dressed…
    Thomas Malory  --  Le Morte D’Arthur, Volume I
  • …courts did Wang Lung and his family hate and fear as they did this cousin of theirs; this, although the men tore at the trees and the flowering shrubs of plum and almond and broke them as they would, and though they crushed the delicate carvings of chairs with their great leathern boots, and though they sullied with their private filth the pools where the flecked and golden fish swam, so that the fish died and floated on the water and rotted there, with their white bellies upturned.
    Pearl S. Buck  --  The Good Earth
  • …at all, of the animal that lurked in his trousers; looked away from the insolent nostrils and the smile that kept slipping and falling, falling, falling so she wanted to reach out with her hand to catch it before it fell to the pavement and was sullied by the cigarette butts and bottle caps and spittle at his feet and the feet of other men who sat or stood around outside the pool hall, calling, singing out to her and Nel and grown women too with lyrics like pig meat and brown sugar and…
    Toni Morrison  --  Sula
  • Even in her most uneasy moments—even when she had been agitated by Mrs. Cadwallader’s painfully graphic report of gossip—her effort, nay, her strongest impulsive prompting, had been towards the vindication of Will from any sullying surmises; and when, in her meeting with him afterwards, she had at first interpreted his words as a probable allusion to a feeling towards Mrs. Lydgate which he was determined to cut himself off from indulging, she had had a quick, sad, excusing vision of…
    George Eliot  --  Middlemarch
  • The fair page now lying before me need not be sullied with my real appellation.
    Edgar Allan Poe  --  William Wilson
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Associated words [difficulty]:   sully [4]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Classic Literature, Human Behavior, Sports
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