- happening, coming, made, or done quickly, without warning, or unexpectedly: a sudden attack.
- occurring without transition from the previous form, state, etc.; abrupt: a sudden turn.
- impetuous; rash.
- Archaic. quickly made or provided.
- Obsolete. unpremeditated.
- Literary. suddenly.
- Obsolete. an unexpected occasion or occurrence.
- all of a sudden, without warning; unexpectedly; suddenly.Also on a sudden.
Origin of sudden
SynonymsSee more synonyms for sudden on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for sudden
Because they stopped and I thought, “OK, that makes sense,” and then all of a sudden I saw another issue!Coffee Talk with Fred Armisen: On ‘Portlandia,’ Meeting Obama, and Taylor Swift’s Greatness
January 7, 2015
Investigators will focus on whether the sudden emergency was so extreme that no degree of pilot skill would have helped.Flight 8501 Poses Question: Are Modern Jets Too Automated to Fly?
January 4, 2015
People will always scratch and save if a sudden burst of unrestrained pleasure can be purchased.How Dickens and Scrooge Saved Christmas
December 22, 2014
Liu had been married just two months before and his wife now stood in this Brooklyn hospital, a sudden widow because of a madman.Two Cops ‘Assassinated’ in Brooklyn
December 21, 2014
In its presence--jolting, sudden, horrific—the monster is the monster of grief.Grief: The Real Monster in The Babadook
December 19, 2014
Mrs. Van Geist fixed her niece with a sudden look of suspicion.
Once it was that he had felt a sudden great longing for the life of a gay city.
He seemed to make a strong effort to check some sudden impulse.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
I might have paid them at the time, but it was all so unexpected and so sudden,—it rattled me, quite.
He was not naturally bad, but he had fallen a victim to sudden temptation.Brave and Bold
- occurring or performed quickly and without warning
- marked by haste; abrupt
- rare rash; precipitate
- archaic an abrupt occurrence or the occasion of such an occurrence (in the phrase on a sudden)
- all of a sudden without warning; unexpectedly
- mainly poetic without warning; suddenly
Word Origin and History for sudden
late 13c., perhaps via Anglo-French sodein, from Old French subdain "immediate, sudden," from Vulgar Latin *subitanus, variant of Latin subitaneus "sudden," from subitus "come or go up stealthily," from sub "up to" + ire "come, go." Phrase all of a sudden first attested 1680s, earlier of a sudayn (1590s), upon the soden (1550s). Sudden death, tie-breakers in sports, first recorded 1927; earlier in reference to coin tosses (1834).
Idioms and Phrases with sudden
see all of a sudden.