sudden

adjective
sud·den | \ˈsə-dᵊn \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from sudden

Adjective

suddenly adverb
suddenness \ˈsə-dᵊn-(n)əs \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for sudden

Synonyms: Adjective

abrupt, unanticipated, unexpected, unforeseen, unlooked-for

Antonyms: Adjective

anticipated, expected, foreseen

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Rather, her sudden decision to comes out of an urgency. refinery29.com, "The Handmaid's Tale Recap Season 2, Episode 13: The Martha Express," 11 July 2018 The primary issue is the presence of significant uncertainty and sudden decisions that get made. Matt Simon, WIRED, "Why Did the Human Cross the Road? To Confuse the Self-Driving Car," 10 July 2018 Seroquel was then known to be associated with sudden cardiac death when used with certain drugs, and several antipsychotics similar to Seroquel also had a record of cardiac fatalities. Charles Piller, Science | AAAS, "Hidden conflicts? Pharma payments to FDA advisers after drug approvals spark ethical concerns," 5 July 2018 Now, all of a sudden, this has become the cause celebre of the left. Fox News, "Former agent fires back at calls to abolish ICE," 30 June 2018 Well, all of a sudden, Bill’s head is right in the way. Steven Ruiz, For The Win, "Former Giants QB recalls the time he drilled Bill Belichick in the head with a ball," 26 June 2018 McVay was sitting near home plate and says, all of a sudden, a hot dog wrapped in duct tape flew toward her and struck her in the face. CBS News, "Phillie Phanatic launches hot dog woman says hit her in face, eye," 21 June 2018 But Aubameyang has revealed that Wenger's decision to step down as the club's manager this summer came as a surprise, conceding that sudden decisions like this are just a part of modern football. SI.com, "Aubameyang Admits Surprise & Sadness at Arsene Wenger's Arsenal Departure Following January Arrival," 14 May 2018 Establishing a sleep schedule Establish a consistent sleep schedule well in advance of starting preschool so the change isn't too sudden. Mary Caldwell, ajc, "Parent's survival guide to preschool," 10 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sudden

Statistics for sudden

Last Updated

30 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sudden

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up sudden? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!