Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective sudden contrast with its synonyms?

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

flew into a sudden rage

When might abrupt be a better fit than sudden?

Although the words abrupt and sudden have much in common, abrupt stresses curtness and a lack of warning or ceremony.

an abrupt refusal

When is it sensible to use headlong instead of sudden?

While in some cases nearly identical to sudden, headlong stresses rashness and lack of forethought.

a headlong flight from arrest

When is impetuous a more appropriate choice than sudden?

The meanings of impetuous and sudden largely overlap; however, impetuous stresses extreme impatience or impulsiveness.

an impetuous lover proposing marriage

Where would precipitate be a reasonable alternative to sudden?

While the synonyms precipitate and sudden are close in meaning, precipitate stresses lack of due deliberation and implies prematureness of action.

the army's precipitate withdrawal

Thesaurus Entries Near sudden

Cite this Entry

“Sudden.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

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