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
Hassan Whiteside has kept himself busy since the Miami Heat’s season came an abrupt and unfulfilling end on April 12.
As of his blindsiding and seemingly abrupt release on Friday evening, though, the dynamics flipped: The ultra-competitive Maclin surely will be incentivized now to make the Chiefs regret their decision after the team let him down.
The president has also yet to settle on a new F.B.I. director after his abrupt firing last month of James B. Comey.
Former FBI Director James Comey is preparing to testify to Congress as early as next week about his private conversations with President Donald Trump leading up to his abrupt firing, according to an associate of Comey's.
Busch appeared inconsolable post-race and was abrupt in his comment when asked if he was surprised by Dillon’s successful fuel gamble.
Fasana’s proposal is a blow to San Gabriel Valley officials and advocates who have complained for decades that the freeway’s abrupt ending on Valley Boulevard causes health and air problems.
What has been a relatively quiet year volcanically in Chile (beyond Villarrica) came to an abrupt end today when Calbuco produced an impressive explosive eruption that towered over the city of Puerto Montt.
Dramatic films had sound tracks with fewer screams but a lot of abrupt changes in frequency.
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: 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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