sudden

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a (sudden) rush of blood (to the head)

A sudden feeling of excitement or anger that causes one to act in unexpected ways. It must have been a sudden rush of blood to the head that made Gary lash out at Ron, because he's usually so calm.
See also: blood, of, rush

a quick drop and a sudden stop

Death from either falling from a great height or from hanging. I wouldn't get too close to the edge of that cliff if I were you, you'd have a pretty quick drop and a sudden stop.
See also: and, drop, quick, stop, sudden

all of a sudden

Unexpectedly and abruptly; suddenly. I was startled when the fire alarm went off all of a sudden. I thought Laura and I were friends, but all of a sudden, she stopped talking to me.
See also: all, of, sudden

have a (sudden) rush of blood to the head

To have a sudden feeling of excitement or anger that causes one to act in unexpected ways. It must have been a sudden rush of blood to the head that made Gary lash out at Ron, because he's usually so calm.
See also: blood, have, head, of, rush

sudden death

In sports, a period of play triggered by a tie at the end of a game or match in which the first team to score wins. Sometimes hyphenated if used as a modifier. I really hope they can win in regulation so the game doesn't go into sudden death. In the event of a tie, the game will be determined by sudden-death overtime.
See also: death, sudden

all of a sudden

suddenly. All of a sudden lightning struck the tree we were sitting under. I felt a sharp pain in my side all of a sudden.
See also: all, of, sudden

all of a sudden

Entirely without warning, abruptly, as in All of a sudden the lights went out. In Shakespeare's day the common phrase was of a sudden, the word all being added in the late 1600s. Also see all at once, def. 2.
See also: all, of, sudden

all of a sudden

COMMON If something happens all of a sudden, it happens quickly and unexpectedly. All of a sudden she didn't look sleepy any more. I felt incredibly lonely all of a sudden.
See also: all, of, sudden

(all) of a sudden

suddenly.
As a noun sudden is now found only in this phrase, but from the mid 16th century to the early 18th century it was in regular use in the sense ‘an unexpected danger or emergency’.
See also: of, sudden

ˌall of a ˈsudden

suddenly and unexpectedly: I was sitting reading my book when all of a sudden the lights went out.
See also: all, of, sudden

ˌsudden ˈdeath

a way of deciding the winner of a game when scores are equal at the end. The players or teams continue playing and the game ends as soon as one of them gains the lead: If no one scores in the next five minutes the game will go to sudden death.They won the match after an exciting sudden-death play-off.
See also: death, sudden

sudden death

mod. having to do with something short, quick, and decisive. The game ended in a sudden death playoff.
See also: death, sudden

all of a sudden

Very quickly and unexpectedly; suddenly.
See also: all, of, sudden
References in classic literature ?
But it passed and spared me, and left the night about me suddenly dark and un- familiar.
Suddenly, like a thing falling upon me from without, came--fear.
One fact was certain, that Christine, who until then had shown herself the stronger of the two, became suddenly inexpressibly nervous.
Suddenly, the trap-door was closed and so quickly that they did not even see the hand that worked it; and they remained quite dazed.
But, suddenly becoming alarmed again, she turned away her head.
Aglaya suddenly whispered angrily to herself the word--
From that very side entrance to the Vauxhall, near which the prince and all the Epanchin party were seated, there suddenly appeared quite a large knot of persons, at least a dozen.
Among our suburban resorts there are some which enjoy a specially high reputation for respectability and fashion; but the most careful individual is not absolutely exempt from the danger of a tile falling suddenly upon his head from his neighbour's roof.
Then suddenly traversing a little glade, I saw with an unpleasant start two clumsy legs among the trees, walking with noiseless footsteps parallel with my course, and perhaps thirty yards away from me.
"No!" he said suddenly, and turning went bounding away from me through the undergrowth.
Suddenly he remembered and realised that the big key with the deep notches, which was hanging there with the small keys could not possibly belong to the chest of drawers (on his last visit this had struck him), but to some strong box, and that everything perhaps was hidden in that box.
He suddenly heard steps in the room where the old woman lay.
It suddenly seemed to me that this commonplace, prosaic tea was horribly undignified and paltry after all that had happened, and I blushed crimson.
A horrible spite against her suddenly surged up in my heart; I believe I could have killed her.
As she gazed spellbound, a portion of the slope beneath her suddenly seemed to sink and crumble, and was swallowed up in the rushing stream.