An example of sully is spilling a glass of red wine on white carpet.
Sully a reputation.
Origin of sully
- Probably from French souiller from Old French soil2
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Middle English sulien (also sulwen), from Old English sylian (“to sully, soil, pollute"), from Proto-Germanic *suliwÅnÄ…, *sulwÅnÄ…, *sulwijanÄ… (“to sully, make dirty"), from Proto-Indo-European *sÅ«l- (“thick liquid, muck"). Cognate with Old Saxon sulian (“to sully"), Middle Dutch soluwen (“to sully"), German sÃ¼hlen (“to sully"), Danish sÃ¸le (“to sully"), Swedish sÃ¶la (“to sully"). Perhaps conflated partially with Old French souillier ("to soil";> French souiller), from the same Germanic source. Related also to Old English solian (“to soil, become defiled, make or become foul"). More at soil.