- The definition of abrupt is when something suddenly happens or changes suddenly, with no advance warning.
An example of abrupt is a driver quickly making a left turn without putting his turn signal on first.
- Abrupt is when someone is short or curt in their manner or actions.
An example of abrupt is a teacher who always cuts her students off in conversation without ever stopping to listen.
- Abrupt means the edge of something appears to break off suddenly or steeply.
An example of abrupt is a high cliff on the edge of a mountain.
abrupt definition by Webster's New World
- coming, happening, or ending suddenly; sudden; unexpected
- curt or gruff in behavior or speech; brusque
- very steep: said as of a precipice
- jumping from topic to topic without proper transitions; jerky and disconnected
- Geol. having sudden variations in composition, form, etc.: said esp. of adjacent rock formations
Origin: Classical Latin abruptus, past participle of abrumpere, to break off ; from ab-, off plush rumpere, to break: see rupture
abrupt definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- Unexpectedly sudden: an abrupt change in the weather.
- Surprisingly curt; brusque: an abrupt answer made in anger.
- Touching on one subject after another with sudden transitions: abrupt prose.
- Steeply inclined. See Synonyms at steep1.
- Botany Terminating suddenly rather than gradually; truncate: an abrupt leaf.
Origin: Latin abruptus, past participle of abrumpere, to break off : ab-, away; see ab-1 + rumpere, to break; see reup- in Indo-European roots.
- a·bruptˈly adverb
- a·bruptˈness noun