- 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 suddenly
The plan is to stretch it out as long as possible, then probably forget about it, and then suddenly remember it.‘Archer’ Creator Adam Reed Spills Season 6 Secrets, From Surreal Plotlines to Life Post-ISIS
January 8, 2015
And suddenly, we were able to come up with all these scenes for it.Coffee Talk with Fred Armisen: On ‘Portlandia,’ Meeting Obama, and Taylor Swift’s Greatness
January 7, 2015
The gym—a fragile collective of human ecology at the best of times—has suddenly become even more tense.How to Survive the New Year ‘Gympocalypse’
January 6, 2015
I fall back into a dream and then suddenly there is a tapping on the window just above my bed.
“Wait…” Suddenly a huge, graceful black marlin leaps out of the water, sending a shower of water ten feet high.
Suddenly his countenance shone with a strange and impressive beauty.
Suddenly Eucoline touched my arm with a quick and timid motion.
The storm which commenced so suddenly was one of great violence.Brave and Bold
Suddenly, however, something happened that worried him greatly.Ancient Man
Hendrik Willem van Loon
"Here is somebody who will look at Hope," cried Kate, suddenly.Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
- quickly and without warning; unexpectedly
- 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 suddenly
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 suddenly
see all of a sudden.