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

Marsh beat Brad Wilder in the first hole of sudden death after shooting a bogey-free 69 in regulation. James Weber,, "Quarterfinals set in Metropolitan Amateur golf championship," 29 June 2018 Among those whom Solibo was addressing at the time of his sudden death is one Patrick Chamoiseau. New York Times, "Notes From the Book Review Archives," 29 June 2018 Salazar’s sudden death shook his teenage teammates and especially Huerta and Derek De La Cruz, his two closest friends on the team. Adam Zuvanich, San Antonio Express-News, "New Braunfels motivated by memory of fallen teammate," 4 May 2018 His most formidable adversary that week was not Rocco Mediate, the runner-up who extended Woods to 19 extra holes (an 18-hole playoff and one in sudden death). Karen Crouse, New York Times, "Back at the U.S. Open, Tiger Woods Struggles, Then Shrugs," 14 June 2018 No doubt Backstrom factored prominently—and fortuitously, benefiting from a fluky carom over Bobrovsky’s shoulders for a first-period goal before jutting out his stick on defenseman Dmitry Orlov’s point shot in sudden death. Alex Prewitt,, "Despite an Uninspiring Third Period, Washington Finds a Way to Win Game 5," 21 Apr. 2018 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

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

8 Nov 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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to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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