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

Renzi announced his departure with a Facebook post on Tuesday morning, after explaining the abrupt move in an interview with Italian daily La Repubblica. Washington Post, "Renzi splits Italy’s Democrats, shaking govt coalition," 18 Sep. 2019 Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee said of the abrupt injury spike. Rachel Swan, SFChronicle.com, "Surge of critical injuries on SF’s streets mirrors spike in fatalities," 16 Sep. 2019 There's just little time here to develop satisfying conclusions to their narrative arcs, so we're instead left with abrupt little happily-ever-after crumbs. Robyn Bahr, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Transparent: Musicale Finale': TV Review," 16 Sep. 2019 The ending — just a cut-off of this harmony — seemed abrupt. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: World premiere and Beethoven on a boat disappoint in Hausmann Quartet concert," 16 Sep. 2019 An abrupt American pull-out would make matters worse, dooming Afghanistan to an even bloodier civil war and possibly to an eventual Taliban victory. The Economist, "America will have to resume negotiations with the Taliban eventually," 14 Sep. 2019 Suspect products The bust comes as federal agencies and authorities in 33 states—including Wisconsin— investigate an abrupt rash of severe lung illnesses that have been linked to vaping. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Black-market THC-vape operation busted in Wisconsin, police say," 12 Sep. 2019 Granted, in a pre-internet age, fans had less of a platform to gripe, but unlike some of the more abrupt recent transitions, such as depicting Thor as a woman, Storm’s progression seemed wholly organic. Oliver Staley, Quartz, "Storm is comics’ overlooked groundbreaking superhero," 11 Sep. 2019 The season stood as easily the worst of Petrino's coaching career — the 2007 abbreviated and abrupt Atlanta Falcons departure aside. Steve Brawner, The Courier-Journal, "Ousted Louisville football coach Bobby Petrino says he wants to coach again," 9 Sep. 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

11 Oct 2019

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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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