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sudden or unexpected:
an abrupt departure.
curt or brusque in speech, manner, etc.:
an abrupt reply.
terminating or changing suddenly:
an abrupt turn in a road.
having many sudden changes from one subject to another; lacking in continuity or smoothness:
an abrupt writing style.
steep; precipitous:
an abrupt descent.
Botany, (def 4).
Contemporary Examples

Given the abruptness of his departure, he may yet have to decide himself, aides and friends say.
Gen. McChrystal: Future Bookstore Owner? Ellen Knickmeyer June 28, 2010

Historical Examples

I beg, madam, he said, you will excuse the abruptness of my manner in our late interview.
The Minister’s Wooing Harriet Beecher Stowe

He admitted the impeachment in the midst of his astonishment with an abruptness equal to her own.
The Golden Woman Ridgwell Cullum

His conception was apt to be fantastic, while his colouring was vivid to abruptness, and he was deficient in charm of expression.
The Old Masters and Their Pictures Sarah Tytler

He stopped in the middle of the room with an abruptness which portended something.
The Lure of the Mask Harold MacGrath

She pulled herself up suddenly, and looked furtively at Mr. Preston to see if he had taken any notice of her abruptness.
Wives and Daughters Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

“I was thinking of Cousin Jack,” she said, a little startled at his abruptness.
Trent’s Trust and Other Stories Bret Harte

Qualities of Shakspere’s style: energy, obscurity, abruptness, brevity (in late plays).
A Letter on Shakspere’s Authorship of The Two Noble Kinsmen William Spalding

“Your sister is beautiful,” she said, with an abruptness that was almost anger.
A Little Girl in Old Quebec Amanda Millie Douglas

The abruptness with which Edward Vernon retired from the discussion with his partner and agent had a singular effect upon both.
Hester, Volume 3 (of 3) Margaret Oliphant

sudden; unexpected
brusque or brief in speech, manner, etc; curt
(of a style of writing or speaking) making sharp transitions from one subject to another; disconnected
precipitous; steep
(botany) shaped as though a part has been cut off; truncate
(geology) (of strata) cropping out suddenly

1580s, from Latin abruptus “broken off, precipitous, disconnected,” past participle of abrumpere “break off,” from ab- “off” (see ab-) + rumpere “break” (see rupture (n.)). Related: Abruptly; abruptness.


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