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headlong

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adverb

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Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective headlong contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of headlong are abrupt, impetuous, precipitate, and sudden. While all these words mean "showing undue haste or unexpectedness," headlong stresses rashness and lack of forethought.

a headlong flight from arrest

When is abrupt a more appropriate choice than headlong?

The synonyms abrupt and headlong are sometimes interchangeable, but abrupt stresses curtness and a lack of warning or ceremony.

an abrupt refusal

In what contexts can impetuous take the place of headlong?

While the synonyms impetuous and headlong are close in meaning, impetuous stresses extreme impatience or impulsiveness.

an impetuous lover proposing marriage

Where would precipitate be a reasonable alternative to headlong?

In some situations, the words precipitate and headlong are roughly equivalent. However, precipitate stresses lack of due deliberation and implies prematureness of action.

the army's precipitate withdrawal

When would sudden be a good substitute for headlong?

The words sudden and headlong are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, sudden stresses unexpectedness and sharpness or violence of action.

flew into a sudden rage

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Cite this Entry

“Headlong.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/headlong. Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.

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