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sudden

[suhd-n] /ˈsʌd n/
adjective
1.
happening, coming, made, or done quickly, without warning, or unexpectedly:
a sudden attack.
2.
occurring without transition from the previous form, state, etc.; abrupt:
a sudden turn.
3.
impetuous; rash.
4.
Archaic. quickly made or provided.
5.
Obsolete, unpremeditated.
adverb
6.
Literary. suddenly.
noun
7.
Obsolete. an unexpected occasion or occurrence.
Idioms
8.
all of a sudden, without warning; unexpectedly; suddenly.
Also, on a sudden.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English sodain (adj. and adv.) < Middle French < Latin subitāneus going or coming stealthily, equivalent to subit(us) sudden, taking by surprise (see subito) + -āneus composite adj. suffix, equivalent to -ān(us) -an + -eus -eous
Related forms
suddenly, adverb
suddenness, noun
Synonyms
1, 2. unforeseen, unanticipated. Sudden, unexpected, abrupt describe acts, events, or conditions for which there has been no preparation or gradual approach. Sudden refers to the quickness of an occurrence, although the event may have been expected: a sudden change in the weather. Unexpected emphasizes the lack of preparedness for what occurs or appears: an unexpected crisis. Abrupt characterizes something involving a swift adjustment; the effect is often unpleasant, unfavorable, or the cause of dismay: He had an abrupt change in manner. The road came to an abrupt end.
Antonyms
1, 2. gradual, foreseen.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for on a sudden

sudden

/ˈsʌdən/
adjective
1.
occurring or performed quickly and without warning
2.
marked by haste; abrupt
3.
(rare) rash; precipitate
noun
4.
(archaic) an abrupt occurrence or the occasion of such an occurrence (in the phrase on a sudden)
5.
all of a sudden, without warning; unexpectedly
adverb
6.
(mainly poetic) without warning; suddenly
Derived Forms
suddenness, noun
Word Origin
C13: via French from Late Latin subitāneus, from Latin subitus unexpected, from subīre to happen unexpectedly, from sub- secretly + īre to go
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for on a sudden

sudden

adj.

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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with on a sudden

sudden

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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