abrupt

adjective
\ ə-ˈbrəpt How to pronounce abrupt (audio) \

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 retire
b : rudely or unceremoniously curt She has an abrupt manner. an abrupt reply
c : 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

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Other Words from abrupt

abruptness \ ə-​ˈbrəp(t)-​nəs How to pronounce abruptness (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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.

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Instead, this is escapism at its finest, focused on two people who have had an abrupt change in plans and must forge a path forward. Julie Depenbrock, Washington Post, "In ‘Evvie Drake Starts Over,’ a widow and a professional baseball player deliver summer romance," 26 June 2019 But Oregon had an abrupt change of heart, deciding that Kepro no longer had to consider that scoring system for most types of residential facilities. oregonlive.com, "Kicked to the curb: How the state failed fragile mentally ill Oregonians," 22 June 2019 The abrupt change has left cruise lines and passengers – some of whom book months or even a year ahead – scrambling. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al.com, "No more Cuba cruises: Carnival, others cancel trips, offer refunds," 6 June 2019 His incessant work to make abrupt, violent regime change extremely hard has led to the construction of an inflexible, ossified system bound in equal measure by fear and corruption. Leonid Bershidsky, Twin Cities, "Leonid Bershidsky: Russia after Vladimir Putin," 5 June 2019 The long housing rally in Australia is coming to an abrupt end: prices there fell 8% in the year to the end of March. The Economist, "Our global house-price forecasts," 27 June 2019 Okeke averaged 12 points and a team-best 6.8 rebounds per game while also leading the Tigers in steals before his season and Auburn career came to an abrupt end in the Sweet 16. Tom Green | Tgreen@al.com, al.com, "Auburn’s Chuma Okeke picked 16th overall by Orlando Magic in 2019 NBA Draft," 20 June 2019 Yastrzemski went on to earn First Team All-SEC honors, but the Commodores’ road to the College World Series came to an abrupt end with a Super Regional loss to Louisville. Kerry Crowley, The Mercury News, "Teammates reunited in Giants-Dodgers rivalry that’s missing out on a key player," 20 June 2019 This week, the brief but explosive industry of U.S. cruises to Cuba came to an abrupt end. Renae Reints, Fortune, "Cruises to Cuba Are Banned, But the Ships Sail On," 6 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of abrupt

1565, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for 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

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Dictionary Entries near abrupt

abrood

abrotanum

abrotine

abrupt

abruption

abruptly

Abruzzi

Statistics for abrupt

Last Updated

19 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for abrupt

The first known use of abrupt was in 1565

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More Definitions for abrupt

abrupt

adjective
\ ə-ˈbrəpt How to pronounce abrupt (audio) \

Kids Definition of abrupt

1 : happening without warning : sudden The meeting came to an abrupt end.
2 : steep entry 1 sense 1 an abrupt drop
3 : rudely brief an abrupt reply

Other Words from abrupt

abruptly adverb
abruptness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on abrupt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with abrupt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for abrupt

Spanish Central: Translation of abrupt

Nglish: Translation of abrupt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of abrupt for Arabic Speakers

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