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

abrupt, unanticipated, unexpected, unforeseen, unlooked-for

Antonyms: Adjective

anticipated, expected, foreseen

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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

My second clue was seeing the energy in the room change; there was a sudden sense of urgency. Donna Blass, Health.com, "I Had a Perfectly Normal EKG at My Check-Up—and the Next Day I Had a Heart Attack," 7 June 2019 The sudden escalation in trade tensions with China and Mexico sent another wave of fear through Wall Street last month. Matt Egan, CNN, "Swings in market sentiment resemble pre-Lehman crisis, strategist warns," 6 June 2019 Even more unsettling was Trump's sudden decision to tax Mexican imports. CBS News, "How Trump's tariffs on China and Mexico could hurt the U.S. economy," 6 June 2019 Coping with a loved one's sudden suicide can take some trial and error. Allison Ross, The Courier-Journal, "'When do you stop grieving?': JCPS suicides leave students, parents and staff struggling," 6 June 2019 Like them, we were surprised by this sudden modification to policy. Chabeli Herrera, orlandosentinel.com, "Norwegian cancels all cruises with a Cuba stop after Sept. 2 following new travel ban," 6 June 2019 Even more unsettling was Trump's sudden decision to tax Mexican imports. Paul Wisemand And Joyce M. Rosenberg, chicagotribune.com, "How Trump's tariffs on China and Mexico could hurt the U.S. economy," 6 June 2019 Climate change’s sudden rise as an issue people care about isn’t coming out of nowhere. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "Climate change is becoming a defining issue of 2020," 5 June 2019 But recurring episodes are sometimes linked to narcolepsy, a sleep disorder that involves drowsiness and sudden sleep attacks. Cassie Shortsleeve, SELF, "9 Types of Parasomnias That Might Explain That Weird Thing You Do When You Sleep," 5 June 2019

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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Statistics for sudden

Last Updated

10 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for sudden

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

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More Definitions for sudden

sudden

adjective

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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