- 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 abruptly
NBC News boss Deborah Turness abruptly ousted the ‘Meet the Press’ host four months ago.David Gregory's 'Meet the Press' Eviction Exposed in Washingtonian Takedown
December 23, 2014
Because this food source could abruptly disappear at any time, cutworm moths cannot be counted on to replace pine nuts.What It Takes to Kill a Grizzly Bear
November 23, 2014
He then abruptly departed for reasons that the school declines to clarify.Alleged U.Va. Abductor Accused of Rape at Christian College
September 28, 2014
But abruptly it intruded around corners when least expected after scenes of rural somnolence had lulled us.As the Key Battle Looms, a Report from Ukraine's Front Lines
August 13, 2014
[Laughs] Firth: Oh God… And with that, the interview was abruptly ended halfway into my allotted time by the publicist.Emma Stone and Colin Firth on Woody Allen, Shrinkage, and Live-Texting ‘Bridget Jones’
July 21, 2014
"I suppose you want to be taken back," said the superintendent, abruptly.Brave and Bold
Then, abruptly, the round, baby-like face of the woman puckered in amazement.
Then abruptly, the young man spoke with the energy of perfect faith in the woman.
Then, abruptly, the blue eyes were softened in their fires, as by the sudden nearness of tears.
The girl in the bed eyed her, and then abruptly drew her hand away.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
- 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 abruptly
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper