sudden death


Definition of sudden death 

1 : unexpected death that is instantaneous or occurs within minutes from any cause other than violence sudden death following coronary occlusion

2 : extra play to break a tie in a sports contest in which the first to score or gain the lead wins

Examples of sudden death in a Sentence

We won 27–24 in sudden death. a serious heart condition that can result in sudden death

Recent Examples on the Web

After shooting 76 to tie Boston Latin’s Anne Walsh atop the leaderboard at the Massachusetts Interstate Athletic Association’s girls’ golf state championship, Shieh prepared for a sudden death playoff to determine the champion. Nate Weitzer,, "At Concord-Carlisle, a young golfer leads the way," 1 June 2018 At the Egypt camp, after the sudden death of Omar Khaled, the questions about safety only amplified, especially since the circumstances of the boy’s death were not entirely clear. Tim Rohan,, "Football’s Missionaries Spread the Game’s Good Word—and Answer Questions About Its Safety," 3 Apr. 2018 The sudden death of Dolores O’Riordan, lead singer of The Cranberries, came as a shock to her fans and fellow musicians. Mahita Gajanan, Time, "'We Are Crushed.' Celebrities React to Death of Cranberries Singer Dolores O’Riordan," 15 Jan. 2018 Following the sudden death of rapper XXXTentacion on Monday, celebrities flooded social media to honor the late artist. Mariah Haas, Fox News, "Kanye West, Diplo, and more stars react to rapper XXXTentacion's sudden death," 18 June 2018 The sudden death of Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz from cardiac arrest early Thursday underscores the need for anyone experiencing symptoms of a heart attack to quickly seek emergency medical care, experts said. Rachel Chason,, "Here's what you should do if you think you're having a heart attack," 13 May 2018 The morning was overshadowed by the sudden death of Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. Kate Magill, Columbia Flier, "Governor, cabinet members tour Howard County," 10 May 2018 Their mother’s sudden death forces them to reconsider that stance, themselves, and their place in a world that would prefer to flatten out their neighborhood’s singular character in favor of a slick new apartment complex or artisanal coffee shop. Caroline Framke, Vox, "Starz’s Vida is the rare TV show that centers on a queer Latinx community. It’s wonderful.," 5 May 2018 Schools are accustomed to dealing with traumatic events, Perry said, such as the sudden death of a family member or an accident with severe injuries. Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN, "ICE raided a meatpacking plant. More than 500 kids missed school the next day," 12 Apr. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

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

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More Definitions for sudden death

sudden death


English Language Learners Definition of sudden death

sports : a period of extra play that is added when teams or players are tied at the end of normal play and that ends as soon as one team or player scores a point or gains the lead

medical : quick and unexpected death from any cause other than violence

sudden death


Medical Definition of sudden death 

: unexpected death that is instantaneous or occurs within minutes or hours from any cause other than violence sudden death following coronary occlusion especially : sudden cardiac death

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the setting in which something occurs

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