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adjective \ə-ˈbrəpt\

Simple Definition of abrupt

  • : very sudden and not expected

  • : talking to other people in a very brief and unfriendly way

  • : rudely brief

Full Definition of abrupt

  1. 1 a :  characterized by or involving action or change without preparation or warning :  unexpected <came to an abrupt stop> <an abrupt turn> <an abrupt decision to retire> b :  unceremoniously curt <an abrupt manner> c :  lacking smoothness or continuity <an abrupt transition>

  2. 2 :  giving the impression of being cut or broken off; especially :  involving a sudden steep rise or drop <abrupt hills> <a high abrupt bank bounded the stream>

abrupt·lyplay \ə-ˈbrəp(t)-lē\ adverb
abrupt·nessplay \ə-ˈbrəp(t)-nəs\ noun

Examples of abrupt

  1. There was an abrupt change in the weather.

  2. The road came to an abrupt end.

  3. The storm caused an abrupt power failure.

  4. She has an abrupt manner.

Origin of abrupt

Latin abruptus, from past participle of abrumpere to break off, from ab- + rumpere to break — more at reave

First Known Use: 1530

Synonym Discussion of abrupt

precipitate, headlong, abrupt, impetuous, sudden mean showing undue haste or unexpectedness. precipitate stresses lack of due deliberation and implies prematureness of action <the army's precipitate withdrawal>. headlong stresses rashness and lack of forethought <a headlong flight from arrest>. abrupt stresses curtness and a lack of warning or ceremony <an abrupt refusal>. impetuous stresses extreme impatience or impulsiveness <an impetuous lover proposing marriage>. sudden stresses unexpectedness and sharpness or violence of action <flew into a sudden rage>.

steep, abrupt, precipitous, sheer mean having an incline approaching the perpendicular. steep implies such sharpness of pitch that ascent or descent is very difficult <a steep hill> <a steep dive>. abrupt implies a sharper pitch and a sudden break in the level <a beach with an abrupt drop-off>. precipitous applies to an incline approaching the vertical <the river winds through a precipitous gorge>. sheer suggests an unbroken perpendicular expanse <sheer cliffs that daunted the climbers>.

Rhymes with abrupt

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up abrupt? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 12, 2016

of, relating to, or suggestive of marble

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