Definition of abrupt
1a : characterized by or involving action or change without preparation or warning : sudden and unexpected came to an abrupt stop an abrupt turn an abrupt decision to retireb : rudely or unceremoniously curt She has an abrupt manner. an abrupt replyc : lacking smoothness or continuity an abrupt transition
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
abruptlyplay \ə-ˈbrəp(t)-lē\ adverb ended the meeting abruptly
abruptnessplay \ə-ˈbrəp(t)-nəs\ noun
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Examples of abrupt in a sentence
There was an abrupt change in the weather.
The road came to an abrupt end.
The storm caused an abrupt power failure.
She has an abrupt manner.
Did You Know?
We’ll break it to you gently: abrupt derives from abruptus, the past participle of the Latin verb abrumpere, meaning "to break off." Abrumpere combines the prefix ab- with rumpere, which means "break" and which forms the basis for several other words in English that suggest a kind of breaking, such as interrupt, rupture, and bankrupt. Whether being used to describe a style of speaking that seems rudely short (as in "gave an abrupt answer"), something with a severe rise or drop ("abrupt climate change"), or something that seems rash and unprecipitated ("made the abrupt decision to quit college"), abrupt, which first appeared in English in the 16th century, implies a kind of jarring unexpectedness that catches people off guard.
Origin and Etymology of abrupt
borrowed from Latin abruptus “steep, sheer, broken or cut off too short,” from past participle of abrumpere “to break, rupture, break off short,” from ab- ab- + rumpere “to cause to break or burst,” going back to Indo-European *ru-n-p-, nasal present formation from the base *reu̯p- “break, tear” — more at reave
First Known Use: 1565
Synonym Discussion of abrupt
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
ABRUPT Defined for Kids
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