Meaning of “sudden” in the English Dictionary

"sudden" in British English

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uk /ˈsʌd.ən/ us /ˈsʌd.ən/

B2 happening or done quickly and without warning:

Drop the gun, put your hands in the air, and don't make any sudden movements.
He had a sudden heart attack while he was on holiday.
First they announce their engagement and then they tell me Angie's pregnant - it's all a bit sudden.

More examples

  • I'd strongly advise against making a sudden decision.
  • Everyone in the office was surprised by Graham's sudden departure.
  • There was a sudden loud noise.
  • A sudden gust of wind blew his umbrella inside out.
  • A sudden snowstorm paralysed the city.
noun [ U ] uk /ˈsʌd.ən.nəs/ us /ˈsʌd.ən.nəs/

It was the suddenness of his illness that came as such a shock.


(Definition of “sudden” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"sudden" in American English

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us /ˈsʌd·ən/

happening or done quickly or unexpectedly:

The cyclist lowered his head and put on a sudden burst of speed.

(Definition of “sudden” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)