English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English sodeyn, sodain, from Anglo-Norman sodein, from Old French sodain, subdain (immediate, sudden), from Vulgar Latin *subitānus (sudden), from Latin subitāneus (sudden), from subitus (sudden", literally, "that which has come stealthily), originally the past participle of subīre (to come or go stealthily), from sub (under) + īre (go). Doublet of subitaneous. Displaced native Old English fǣrlīċ.

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ˈsʌdən/, [ˈsʌdn̩]
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌdən
  • Hyphenation: sud‧den

Adjective edit

sudden (comparative suddener, superlative suddenest)

  1. Happening quickly and with little or no warning.
    The sudden drop in temperature left everyone cold and confused.
    • 1552, The Boke of Common Prayer [etc.][1], The Letanie:
      From lightninges and tempeſtes, from plage, peſtilence, and famine, from battayle and murther, and from ſodayn death. / Good lord deliver us.
    • 1913, Joseph C[rosby] Lincoln, chapter I, in Mr. Pratt’s Patients, New York, N.Y., London: D[aniel] Appleton and Company, →OCLC:
      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. (obsolete) Hastily prepared or employed; quick; rapid.
    • c. 1599, William Shakespeare, Henry V, act 1, scene 1:
      Never was such a sudden scholar made.
    • 1649, John Milton, Eikonoklastes:
      Thus these pious flourishes and colours, examined thoroughly, are like the apples of Asphaltis, appearing goodly to the sudden eye; but look well upon them, or at least but touch them, and they turn into cinders.
    • 1850, [Alfred, Lord Tennyson], In Memoriam, London: Edward Moxon, [], →OCLC, Canto XIV, page 22:
      And if along with these should come
      ⁠The man I held as half-divine;
      ⁠Should strike a sudden hand in mine,
      And ask a thousand things of home; […]
      I should not feel it to be strange.
  3. (obsolete) Hasty; violent; rash; precipitate.

Synonyms edit

Antonyms edit

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

Adverb edit

sudden (comparative more sudden, superlative most sudden)

  1. (poetic) Suddenly.

Noun edit

sudden (plural suddens)

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

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

Further reading edit

Swedish edit

Noun edit


  1. definite singular of sudd c
  2. definite plural of sudd n