What does "surly" mean in this sentence ?

Even so, the president and Secretary of State Cordell Hull considered it prudent to keep the way open for improving relations, so Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles had been engaged in a series of fruitless discussions with the Soviet ambassador, Constantin Oumansky, since mid-1940. The haughty Welles, a family friend and close adviser of Roosevelt, was the perfect foil for the surly Russian.

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  • RP
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago
    Favorite Answer

    In this context, surly is equivalent to obstinate or difficult, as opposed to welcoming and receptive.

    • bluebellbkk
      Lv 7
      4 weeks agoReport

      Yes, but that's what it ALWAYS means. There's nothing special or different about this context.

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  • 3 weeks ago

    It means the Russian is obtuse and stubborn.

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  • 4 weeks ago

    Surly you jest at asking such a question of us out here on Yahoo Q&A.

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  • Mike
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Surly you jest.

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  • 4 weeks ago

    What it always means. This is a standard way to use the word.

    If you're reading a book on politics and history, why aren't you using a dictionary?

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  • ?
    Lv 6
    4 weeks ago

    Unfriendly (also means bad tempered)

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  • Carson
    Lv 6
    4 weeks ago

    "Gruff" would also work. Some one that looks angry at the whole situation.

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