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.
Recent Examples of abrupt from the Web
After the abrupt death of her father in March to aortic dissection, a form of an heart attack, 44-year-old Wendy Bedsole and her family is in more grief.
The abrupt move left thousands of women who had already ordered or were planning to order their wedding dresses from the store in shock, frustrated, and unsure of what would happen to their dream dresses.
But after the United States’ abrupt withdrawal of troops in 2011, American constancy is still in question here — a broad failure of American foreign policy, with responsibility shared across three administrations.
The biggest scandal in the bank’s history led to the abrupt retirement of its CEO, John Stumpf.
Witnesses in Fordham Heights said the violence had brought an abrupt end to what had been a leisurely holiday evening, with dancing and fireworks.
D Matt Hedges, FC Dallas The 2016 MLS Defender of the Year had a chance to showcase his skills to Arena at the January camp, but a knee injury brought the opportunity to an abrupt end.
When traffic was slowing, Brumpton came to an abrupt stop.
The downward kink in the rearmost side windows that lets little kids see outside is still there, but it’s been softened for a less abrupt look.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abrupt.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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: 1565See Words from the same year
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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