Definition of abrupt in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈbrəpt/


1Sudden and unexpected: I was surprised by the abrupt change of subject our round of golf came to an abrupt end on the 13th hole
More example sentences
  • I just think I've had too many sudden, abrupt, unexpected, and unwelcome changes in my plans to be able to commit to more plans in advance.
  • A completely unexpected and abrupt ending saw my jaw drop.
  • The fairy tale romance has come to an abrupt and totally unexpected end.
sudden, unexpected, without warning, unanticipated, unforeseen, precipitate, precipitous, surprising, startling;
quick, swift, rapid, hurried, hasty, immediate, instantaneous
2Brief to the point of rudeness; curt: you were rather abrupt with that young man
More example sentences
  • Having said that, I do not think I deserved the very abrupt and curt way in which I was treated by Mr Hutchinson on trying to explain the situation to him.
  • Deron's expression showed nothing, though I knew he must be surprised by the abrupt rudeness of it.
  • ‘They were quite abrupt and offhand,’ says Elliot, who is now 39.
curt, brusque, blunt, short, sharp, terse, crisp, gruff, rude, discourteous, uncivil, snappish, unceremonious, offhand, rough, harsh;
bluff, no-nonsense, to the point
informal snappy
2.1(Of a style of speech or writing) not flowing smoothly; disjointed.
Example sentences
  • Jordan, unfortunately, compounds this weakness with an abrupt style.
  • The text breaks into the temple of Russian literature with its lively and trembling, shocking and abrupt style.
  • Despite her abrupt style winning her as many friends as it did enemies, there was no denying that she deserved to be there.
disjointed, jerky, uneven, disconnected, inelegant
3Steep; precipitous: the abrupt double peak of the mountain
More example sentences
  • She glanced at it briefly, taking in the trembling peaks and abrupt cliffs and faces.
  • And then, the western flank of the Wasatch Mountains rises up, sheer and abrupt, to shock as much snow from the clouds as possible.
  • The result is an interplay between the pulsating red ground, the closer-hued biomorphic forms and the abrupt vertical black elements.
steep, sheer, precipitous, bluff, sharp, sudden;
perpendicular, vertical, dizzy, vertiginous



Pronunciation: /əˈbrəp(t)nəs/
Example sentences
  • The notion that bureaucratic infighting and occasional abruptness of manner should disqualify one from high office is laughable.
  • The abruptness of the closure announcement has left them shocked and desperately searching for an alternative venue.
  • Although they had long feared for the future of their club, they were not prepared for the abruptness of the end.


Late 16th century: from Latin abruptus 'broken off, steep', past participle of abrumpere, from ab- 'away, from' + rumpere 'break'.

  • The Latin source of this word was abrumpere ‘broken off, steep’, from rumpere ‘to break’. In the past, abrupt could be used as a noun meaning ‘abyss’ (Milton Paradise Lost: ‘Upborn with indefatigable wings Over the vast abrupt’).

Words that rhyme with abrupt

corrupt, disrupt, erupt, interrupt, irrupt

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ab·rupt

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