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2017 Word of the Year

abrupt

[uh-bruhpt] /əˈbrʌpt/
adjective
1.
sudden or unexpected:
an abrupt departure.
2.
curt or brusque in speech, manner, etc.:
an abrupt reply.
3.
terminating or changing suddenly:
an abrupt turn in a road.
4.
having many sudden changes from one subject to another; lacking in continuity or smoothness:
an abrupt writing style.
5.
steep; precipitous:
an abrupt descent.
6.
Botany. truncate (def 4).
Origin of abrupt
1575-1585
1575-85; < Latin abruptus broken off (past participle of abrumpere), equivalent to ab- ab- + -rup- break + -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
abruptly, adverb
abruptness, noun
unabruptly, adverb
Synonyms
1, 3. quick, sharp. See sudden. 2. short, hurried, hasty, blunt. 4. discontinuous, broken, uneven.
Antonyms
1, 3. gradual. 2. deliberate; patient, courteous.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for abruptness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • 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.

  • Noting she looked hurt at his abruptness, he kissed her quickly.

    The End of Time Wallace West
  • He admitted the impeachment in the midst of his astonishment with an abruptness equal to her own.

    The Golden Woman Ridgwell Cullum
  • He stopped in the middle of the room with an abruptness which portended something.

    The Lure of the Mask Harold MacGrath
  • Was there another meaning in Saradine's blend of brilliancy and abruptness?

  • Indeed the transitions are generally marked by their abruptness.

  • "I was thinking of Cousin Jack," she said, a little startled at his abruptness.

  • The abruptness of the question was quite disconcerting to Kathleen.

    Grey Town Gerald Baldwin
British Dictionary definitions for abruptness

abrupt

/əˈbrʌpt/
adjective
1.
sudden; unexpected
2.
brusque or brief in speech, manner, etc; curt
3.
(of a style of writing or speaking) making sharp transitions from one subject to another; disconnected
4.
precipitous; steep
5.
(botany) shaped as though a part has been cut off; truncate
6.
(geology) (of strata) cropping out suddenly
Derived Forms
abruptly, adverb
abruptness, noun
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for abruptness

abrupt

adj.

1580s, from Latin abruptus "broken off, precipitous, disconnected," past participle of abrumpere "break off," from ab- "off" (see ab-) + rumpere "break" (see rupture (n.)). Related: Abruptly; abruptness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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