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

All of a sudden this mysterious character comes out of nowhere. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "All the People Who Could've Killed Nolan Hotchkiss on "Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists"," 28 Mar. 2019 All of a sudden, the magazine was banned in some cities across the country. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Bob Mackie Didn’t Know How to Dress Cher When They First Met. Now, He’s Part of Her Fashion Legacy.," 8 Mar. 2019 Abandon as in recklessness, but also sudden departure: leaving behind the starving self, its cold skeletal shell. Daphne Merkin, The New Republic, "How Leslie Jamison rejected the link between creativity and alcoholism," 5 July 2018 There has been a sudden change in the government position. Giovanni Legorano, WSJ, "Pledges Made by Italy’s Populist Government Come Up Against Economic Reality," 8 Jan. 2019 After recovering from a sudden drop in altitude, the pilots struggled to maintain level flight after passing 3,000 feet, before the aircraft went into a deep dive just over 10 minutes after take-off. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Black box data shows pilots fought control system in Indonesia crash," 28 Nov. 2018 Both a sudden change in ear pressure (such diving into water) or direct trauma (like landing sideways on water) can cause your eardrum to rupture, Dr. Jung explains. Cassie Shortsleeve, SELF, "7 Ear Problems That Can Mess With Your Summer," 18 Aug. 2018 But the predominantly white power base wasn’t receptive to the sudden change. German Lopez, Vox, "The latest protests against the Chicago police are about more than one shooting," 20 July 2018 And Twitter has a history of sudden policy changes that makes many nudists worried. Taylor Lorenz, The Atlantic, "How Twitter Became The Number One Social Network For Nudists," 13 July 2018

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

15 Apr 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

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