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 In California, the situation is unstable and state officials fear a sudden increase in patients. Sophie Alexander, Bloomberg.com, "Social Distancing Shows Signs of Curbing Virus on West Coast," 8 May 2020 Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s 1997 thriller Cure, about a detective hunting a peculiar man who seems to be infecting strangers with the sudden desire to murder others, is ideal for submerging into that kind of quarantine tension. Tyler Coates, Wired, "The Best Distraction From News and Social Media? Foreign Films," 5 May 2020 At the time, scientists were unsure what triggered these sudden events. Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, "Warming Caused a Glacier in Alaska to Collapse," 4 May 2020 Seizures are caused by sudden fluctuations in brain activity, and carbon dioxide appears to tamp down naked mole-rat brain cells, according to a study published this week in Current Biology. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Naked Mole-Rats Bathe Their Bodies in Carbon Dioxide to Prevent Seizures," 4 May 2020 The sudden austerity could have been a cause for panic. National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 30 Apr. 2020 Even better resourced health systems in the United States and Europe have become overwhelmed by a sudden spike in coronavirus patients. Yinka Adegoke, Quartz Africa, "African economies are spending up to five times their health budgets on debt repayments," 29 Apr. 2020 The sudden increase in visitors generated significant stress to neighborhoods, as all city parking lots in the beach areas remain closed. Los Angeles Times, "Newport Beach council votes to keep beaches open, despite crowds and rebuke from Newsom," 28 Apr. 2020 The pitch-black indoor coaster is a fan favorite for its sudden drops, hairpin turns and out-of-this-galaxy theming, providing thrills in tune with its whirring soundtrack. Carlye Wisel, Travel + Leisure, "All of the Rides at Disneyland, Ranked From Worst to Best," 28 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

12 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sudden.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sudden. Accessed 25 May. 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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