- 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 for on Thesaurus.com
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for abrupt
In May 2009, however, the president had an abrupt change of heart.The Detainee Abuse Photos Obama Didn’t Want You To See
Noah Shachtman, Tim Mak
December 15, 2014
Fans felt cheated by the abrupt end of a marriage seasons in the making (to Lady Mary, played by Michelle Dockery).‘The Walking Dead’ Fans Demand: Bring Back Beth!
December 11, 2014
Biologist Mattson is alarmed by the abrupt 2008 rise in grizzly mortality from conflicts both with livestock and hunters.What It Takes to Kill a Grizzly Bear
November 23, 2014
King declined to elaborate on what that “immediate and abrupt action” would be, saying only that he had “a few ideas.”Steve King: GOP Congress Should Keep Repealing Obamacare
October 29, 2014
The abrupt increase that night in U.S. sorties also stopped the town falling.In the Battle for Kobani, ISIS Falls Back. But for How Long?
October 20, 2014
The interrogation came with an abrupt force that cried of new suspicions.Within the Law
The Colonel, who could not hear the remark, wondered at the abrupt pause in the game.The Little Colonel
Annie Fellows Johnston
Her abrupt entry into the room, while he was in bed, startled him.The Foolish Lovers
St. John G. Ervine
I must be abrupt; for I am so circumstanced, that I have not a moment's time to spare.Tales And Novels, Volume 3 (of 10)
He was roused from this self-commune by an abrupt exclamation from his companion.Night and Morning, Complete
- 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 abrupt
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper