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.
- Happening quickly and with little or no warning.
- 1552, The Boke of Common Prayer [etc.], 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. Lincoln, chapter 1, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
- 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.
- The sudden drop in temperature left everyone cold and confused.
- (obsolete) Hastily prepared or employed; quick; rapid.
- (obsolete) Hasty; violent; rash; precipitate.
- (happening quickly): abrupt, precipitous, subitaneous; see also Thesaurus:sudden
- (hasty, rash): hotheaded, impetuous, impulsive; see also Thesaurus:reckless
sudden (plural suddens)
- (obsolete) An unexpected occurrence; a surprise.