• Sudden


    • IPA: /ˈsʌdən/
    • GenAm IPA: ˈsɐdⁿn̩
    • Rhymes: -ʌdən
    • Hyphenation: sud + den


    From Middle English sodain, from Anglo-Norman sodein, from Old French sodain, subdain ("immediate, sudden"), from Vulgar Latin *subitānus ("sudden"), from Latin subitaneus ("sudden"), from subitus ("sudden", literally, "that which has come stealthily"), originally the past participle of subire ("to come or go stealthily"), from sub ("under") + ire ("go").

    Full definition of sudden



    1. Happening quickly and with little or no warning.
      • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, Mr. Pratt's Patients Chapter 1, I stumbled along through the young pines and huckleberry bushes. Pretty soon I struck into a sort of path that, I cal'lated, might lead to the road I was hunting for. It twisted and turned, and, the first thing I knew, made a sudden bend around a bunch of bayberry scrub and opened out into a big clear space like a lawn.
    2. The sudden drop in temperature left everyone cold and confused.
    3. (obsolete) Hastily prepared or employed; quick; rapid.
      • ShakespeareNever was such a sudden scholar made.
      • Miltonthe apples of Asphaltis, appearing goodly to the sudden eye
    4. (obsolete) Hasty; violent; rash; precipitate.
      • ShakespeareI have no joy of this contract to-night: It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden



    1. (poetic) Suddenly.
      • MiltonHerbs of every leaf that sudden flowered.



    (plural suddens)
    1. (obsolete) An unexpected occurrence; a surprise.
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