- 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 suddenness
But it was the suddenness of his proposal to Megan upon arriving back in New York that had even her gasping with surprise.Mad Men's 12 Most Memorable Moments
October 18, 2010
The suddenness of Sarah Palin's resignation Friday raises the question about whether Palin is leaving to avert a major scandal.Did a Scandal Sink the U.S.S. Palin?
July 3, 2009
The suddenness of it all held Mary voiceless for long seconds.Within the Law
Then he disappeared with a suddenness that made the colonel and Dick gasp.The Rock of Chickamauga
Joseph A. Altsheler
He was stunned by the suddenness of the catastrophe that had overtaken them.Two Thousand Miles Below
Charles Willard Diffin
Moreover, the suddenness of the call alarmed her and raised doubts.
Polly sat still in her chair, dazed by the suddenness and injustice of it.Polly of Lady Gay Cottage
Emma C. Dowd
- 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 suddenness
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 suddenness
see all of a sudden.