- sudden or unexpected: an abrupt departure.
- curt or brusque in speech, manner, etc.: an abrupt reply.
- terminating or changing suddenly: an abrupt turn in a road.
- having many sudden changes from one subject to another; lacking in continuity or smoothness: an abrupt writing style.
- steep; precipitous: an abrupt descent.
- Botany. truncate(def 4).
Origin of abrupt
1575–85; < Latin abruptus broken off (past participle of abrumpere), equivalent to ab- ab- + -rup- break + -tus past participle suffix
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1, 3. quick, sharp. See sudden. 2. short, hurried, hasty, blunt. 4. discontinuous, broken, uneven.
1, 3. gradual. 2. deliberate; patient, courteous.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for abruptness
Given the abruptness of his departure, he may yet have to decide himself, aides and friends say.Gen. McChrystal: Future Bookstore Owner?
June 29, 2010
With an abruptness that almost awakened her, he carried her in to his wife.Dust
Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
The abruptness of the action did not create any emotion in him—his thoughts were absent.Tales And Novels, Volume 5 (of 10)
Noting she looked hurt at his abruptness, he kissed her quickly.The End of Time
He admitted the impeachment in the midst of his astonishment with an abruptness equal to her own.The Golden Woman
He stopped in the middle of the room with an abruptness which portended something.The Lure of the Mask
- sudden; unexpected
- brusque or brief in speech, manner, etc; curt
- (of a style of writing or speaking) making sharp transitions from one subject to another; disconnected
- precipitous; steep
- botany shaped as though a part has been cut off; truncate
- geology (of strata) cropping out suddenly
C16: from Latin abruptus broken off, from ab- 1 + rumpere to break
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for abruptness
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper