sudden

adjective
sud·​den | \ ˈsə-dᵊn How to pronounce sudden (audio) \

Definition of sudden

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : happening or coming unexpectedly a sudden shower
b : changing angle or character all at once a sudden drop in the ocean bottom
2 : marked by or manifesting abruptness or haste a sudden departure
3 : made or brought about in a short time : prompt

sudden

noun

Definition of sudden (Entry 2 of 2)

obsolete
: an unexpected occurrence : emergency
all of a sudden or less commonly on a sudden
: sooner than was expected : at once

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Other Words from sudden

Adjective

suddenly adverb
suddenness \ ˈsə-​dᵊn-​(n)əs How to pronounce suddenness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for sudden

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for sudden

Adjective

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

Examples of sudden in a Sentence

Adjective a sudden change in temperature Sudden fame can be difficult to deal with. She had a sudden urge to be outside. His death was very sudden. a sudden turn in the road I was surprised by her sudden decision to quit. The director's sudden departure leaves the organization's future uncertain.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The sudden decline in the food service industry has plummeted the value of pork, which gets a large portion of its price boost from restaurants. TheWeek, "A strange side-effect of the pandemic? 'Carcass imbalance'," 22 May 2020 After 3rd November, coronavirus will magically all of a sudden go away and disappear and everybody will be able to reopen. Sarah Midkiff, refinery29.com, "Here’s The Latest COVID-19 Conspiracy Theory, Courtesy Of Eric Trump," 19 May 2020 This sudden expansion and increased access to telehealth is not only a good thing for providers, but patients as well. Kimberly Wilson, Essence, "How To Make The Most Of Your Virtual Doctor's Appointment," 19 May 2020 After a sudden heart attack, Harry is confined to rest in bed at the beach house, and starts seeing Erica in a new light. Serena Tara, Marie Claire, "The Best Summer Movies of All Time," 5 May 2020 All of a sudden, this thing that she's been working tirelessly for, which is this idea of security, is given to her unexpectedly. Katherine Schaffstall, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Riverdale' Star Camila Mendes on More Mature Role in 'Dangerous Lies': "It Felt Nice to Graduate"," 1 May 2020 And in Michigan, Gov. Whitmer is a national figure all of a sudden. Chris Sikich, Indianapolis Star, "As Holcomb considers reopening the economy, his popularity gets a boost from TV briefings," 28 Apr. 2020 Then all of a sudden there is birdsong and the first glow of dawn. J. M. Coetzee, Harper's Magazine, "Bedside Planner," 27 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sudden.' 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 sudden

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1558, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sudden

Adjective

Middle English sodain, from Anglo-French sudain, from Latin subitaneus, from subitus sudden, from past participle of subire to come up, from sub- up + ire to go — more at sub-, issue entry 1

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Time Traveler for sudden

Time Traveler

The first known use of sudden was in the 14th century

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Statistics for sudden

Last Updated

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sudden.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sudden. Accessed 6 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for sudden

sudden

adjective
How to pronounce sudden (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sudden

: happening, coming, or done very quickly in a way that is usually not expected

sudden

adjective
sud·​den | \ ˈsə-dᵊn How to pronounce sudden (audio) \

Kids Definition of sudden

1 : happening or coming quickly and unexpectedly … she was startled by a sudden outburst of noise.— Robert C. O'Brien, Rats of NIMH
2 : met with unexpectedly We came to a sudden turn in the road.
3 : hasty sense 2 He made a sudden decision.
all of a sudden
: sooner than was expected : suddenly All of a sudden I saw him.

Other Words from sudden

suddenly adverb
suddenness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on sudden

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sudden

Spanish Central: Translation of sudden

Nglish: Translation of sudden for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sudden for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sudden

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