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90s Slang You Should Know


[uh-bruhpt] /əˈbrʌpt/
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
Related forms
abruptly, adverb
abruptness, noun
unabruptly, adverb
1, 3. quick, sharp. See sudden. 2. short, hurried, hasty, blunt. 4. discontinuous, broken, uneven.
1, 3. gradual. 2. deliberate; patient, courteous. 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
  • I beg, madam, he said, you will excuse the abruptness of my manner in our late interview.

    The Minister's Wooing Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • "I was thinking of Cousin Jack," she said, a little startled at his abruptness.

  • His conception was apt to be fantastic, while his colouring was vivid to abruptness, and he was deficient in charm of expression.

  • "Your sister is beautiful," she said, with an abruptness that was almost anger.

    A Little Girl in Old Quebec Amanda Millie Douglas
  • She pulled herself up suddenly, and looked furtively at Mr. Preston to see if he had taken any notice of her abruptness.

    Wives and Daughters Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
  • He admitted the impeachment in the midst of his astonishment with an abruptness equal to her own.

    The Golden Woman Ridgwell Cullum
  • Qualities of Shakspere's style: energy, obscurity, abruptness, brevity (in late plays).

  • He stopped in the middle of the room with an abruptness which portended something.

    The Lure of the Mask Harold MacGrath
  • The abruptness with which Edward Vernon retired from the discussion with his partner and agent had a singular effect upon both.

    Hester, Volume 3 (of 3) Margaret Oliphant
British Dictionary definitions for abruptness


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
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



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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