Meaning of sudden in English:


Pronunciation /ˈsʌd(ə)n/

See synonyms for sudden

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  • Occurring or done quickly and unexpectedly or without warning.

    ‘a sudden bright flash’
    • ‘To a schoolboy like myself at the time, they were a sudden flash of lightning that lit a dark landscape.’
    • ‘Antipsychotic drugs should also be considered in unexplained sudden deaths in psychotic patients.’
    • ‘However, it was a sudden dip in the dollar's value that spurred speculative activity.’
    • ‘Having a credit card can be invaluable if you have a sudden and unexpected expense, or even if you've just overspent.’
    • ‘However, the condition can lead to sudden and unexpected death, often in early adulthood.’
    • ‘I felt a sudden urge to come home as quickly as possible so that I could discuss this with my father.’
    • ‘The car's hazard warning lights automatically switch on with sudden braking or in a collision.’
    • ‘Fans of the show understand that the most hilarious visual joke might immediately be followed by sudden tragedy.’
    • ‘I saw it in the sudden stiffening of his posture and the sharp flash in his hazel eyes.’
    • ‘Kees said the decision to go on their own was not sudden but one which had been in the pipeline for quite some time.’
    • ‘He had a sudden, blinding flash of pain and felt his legs going numb.’
    • ‘Much of this comes in sudden downpours in spring and autumn which sometimes cause devastating flash floods.’
    • ‘Injuries to the eye, such as sudden force from a flying stone, or sharp poke in the eye, can cause a cataract to develop.’
    • ‘The sudden release of the stored chlorine allows rapid destruction of ozone to occur and the ozone hole is formed.’
    • ‘He was working down Turner Shaft one day when there was a sudden rock fall which buried him and killed him instantly.’
    • ‘An elderly monk presented with a sharp thoracic back pain of sudden onset and shortness of breath.’
    • ‘I wasn't expecting moments of sudden and beautiful revelation, empathy, kinship.’
    • ‘At this altitude the wind would cause the carefully tended lawn to tremble with a chill, sudden and shocking.’
    • ‘The results represent a sudden and widespread shift in public mood in Britain.’
    • ‘They were caused by a sudden violent downpour which drains were unable to cope with.’
    unexpected, unforeseen, unanticipated, unlooked-for, without warning, without notice, not bargained for
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literary, informal
  • Suddenly.

    • ‘sudden there swooped an eagle downward’
    • ‘Susie stayed on in the little place they had till she died very sudden.’
    immediately, instantaneously, instantly, in an instant, straight away, all of a sudden, at once, all at once, promptly, abruptly, in a trice, swiftly
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    all of a sudden
    • Suddenly.

      ‘I feel really tired all of a sudden’
      • ‘All of a sudden, he's being asked to dinner by leading writers and noblemen.’
      • ‘All of a sudden, the normal drone of the training room was shattered by peals of laughter!’
      • ‘All of a sudden, you're face to face with a black, hairy spider the size of a beach ball.’
      • ‘All of a sudden, the sky cleared, became blue and a perfect rainbow arched over me with one end in the sand.’
      • ‘As is typical of such storms, the main rainfall came of a sudden, like the turning of a tap in the heavens.’
      • ‘All of a sudden, the badger twitched, jumped up and strolled across the road to safety.’
      • ‘All of a sudden, his stride changed - his floppy ears dropped like a lop-eared rabbit.’
      • ‘All of a sudden, from beating Newcastle and Everton, they are losing to Fulham and Charlton.’
      • ‘All of a sudden the white car pulled out and rammed into the blue car.’
      • ‘All of a sudden the kind of behaviour that would have been typical in old New York seemed rude and inappropriate.’
    on a sudden
    • Suddenly.

      • ‘on a sudden a gleam of hope appeared.’


Middle English from Anglo-Norman French sudein, from an alteration of Latin subitaneus, from subitus ‘sudden’.