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Used In
Atlas Shrugged
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as in: an abrupt change Define
sudden and unexpected
  • It stopped abruptly, for no visible reason,

  • There are no more uses of "abrupt" identified with this meaning, but check unspecified meaning below.

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  • The bus came to an abrupt stop.
  • The weather changed abruptly at about noon.

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unspecified meaning
  • When he rose abruptly, without apology, they rose, too, accepting it as a command.
  • It was as crudely abrupt as if he had thrown a switch.

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  • He turned abruptly, took out his handkerchief and dipped it in the water of the river.
  • He got up, his movement abrupt and stressed, the movement of ending an interview and ordering a visitor out of his office.
  • When she grasped it, she burst out laughing, suddenly, with the abruptness of a cry.
  • She started running down the hill to meet him, but stopped abruptly.
  • She walked, cutting across a room, with a masculine, straight-line abruptness, but she had a peculiar grace of motion that was swift, tense and oddly, challengingly feminine.
  • He had been silent for a long time, when she rose abruptly and told him that she had to go.
  • It always happened unexpectedly, with a kind of peculiar abruptness, as if he had not intended doing it, but something burst within him and he had to speak.
  • But the smile vanished abruptly; he saw the entrance of a new guest: it was Dagny Taggart.

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  • He turned abruptly and started toward his car.
  • By pressing her face to the pane, she could see the whole of the Taggart Building, its lines converging abruptly to its distant pinnacle in the sky.
  • Instead, she saw the shadow jerk abruptly, as if he were jolted backward, then he turned and walked away.
  • Trees and telegraph poles sprang into sight abruptly and went by as if jerked back.
  • He turned to her abruptly, the words exploding as if a safety fuse had blown.
  • He picked up his drink, took a gulp, and chuckled abruptly at a sudden recollection.
  • He refilled his glass and drained it, but his gaiety vanished abruptly.
  • The road ended abruptly behind the turn of a hill.
  • It stopped her abruptly; she took a few seconds to realize that it was the old man at the cigar stand who had called.
  • Then his smile vanished abruptly; the way he jerked the cru-fin was the first break in the smooth competence of his movements: it looked like a jolt of anger.
  • When he proceeded to speak to her about business, his manner was more harshly abrupt than it had ever been with any of his masculine customers.
  • "Hello," said Rearden, fighting to control the unnatural abruptness of his voice.
  • Her sudden movement had the abruptness of a convulsion.
  • The sight of their faces hit her with the abruptness of a collision.
  • There was something faintly familiar in the swift abruptness of his Galt.
  • Galt turned away with a movement that seemed oddly out of character: it had the unrhythmical abruptness of the involuntary.
  • Francisco turned abruptly, not waiting for an answer, and started away.
  • "I wish-" Rearden began and stopped abruptly.
  • The secretary smiled with sudden animation, as if she were about to utter an enthusiastic compliment, but the smile vanished abruptly.
  • His facial muscles moved abruptly, and the movement vanished, having conveyed no expression.
  • He vanished beyond the stone fence, as abruptly and soundlessly as he had come.
  • Mitchum rose abruptly and walked upstairs to his office, clutching Locey’s order in his hand.
  • Abruptly, behind a turn of the road, she saw the green acres of pastures stretching to a distant farmhouse.
  • pine tree slanting down suddenly, tracing a curve, like the hand of a clock, then crashing abruptly out of sight.
  • She leaped abruptly to her feet.
  • It was not a town, only a cluster of houses scattered at random from the bottom to the rising steps of the mountains that went on rising above their roofs, enclosing them within an abrupt, impassable circle.
  • The plane swooped down abruptly, but it was only the start of its final rise, it cut a swift diagonal across the mountains and shot into the open sky.
  • "But, John!" cried Mulligan, waving his arm at the valley, "if anything happens to you, what would we-" He stopped abruptly and guiltily.
  • Then, abruptly, he shot to his feet.
  • She stopped abruptly, as if she had admitted too much.
  • "Ladies and gentlemen!" the voice of the radio speaker leaped forth abruptly; it had a tone of panic.
  • Rearden turned abruptly to look off, at the city.
  • Then the stories vanished abruptly and the newspapers kept silent, then began to print admonitions urging people not to believe unpatriotic rumors.
  • When he drove up to his former home, that afternoon, he stopped his car abruptly at the foot of the hill.
  • "Are you going to let some political ideas of yours-" She saw the look on his face and stopped abruptly.
  • The man waved to someone to replace him, then vanished abruptly from his post.
  • The radio music had gone off abruptly, choking on an odd little gasp of static, cut in the middle of a ringing phrase.
  • He chuckled abruptly-it sounded like a malevolent growl-either at the radio, or at those in the city, or at the sky.
  • "If we were to fly-" said Mouch, and stopped abruptly, as if he had caught some warning in Ferris’ face.
  • "Who is in charge here?" he asked in the politely abrupt voice of a man who does not waste time.
  • But Lawson’s avid pleasure at the familiar formula of self-immolation, vanished abruptly at the sound of Rearden’s voice, a cold, trader’s voice answering: "I do."
  • The crane broke down at the task of loading a train; it stopped abruptly and hung still against the evening sky, between a string of empty cars and piles of suddenly immovable ore.
  • "It’s a national emer-" Then a man came rushing toward Mr. Thompson, and she stopped, as did everyone else-and the look on the man’s face swept the crowd into an abruptly total silence.
  • The plane was above the peaks of the skyscrapers when suddenly, with the abruptness of a shudder, as if the ground had parted to engulf it, the city disappeared from the face of the earth.
  • There were the voices abruptly choked off, the pools of silence, then sounds of a different nature; the rising, hysterical inflections of uselessly repeated questions, the unnatural whispers, a woman’s scream, the few spaced, forced giggles of those still trying to pretend that nothing was happening.
  • With a single movement of her arm, the abrupt, explosive movement of sheer physical brutality, such as he had never seen from her before, she swept the magazines off the table and went on, her voice reciting a list of figures without a break, as if there were no connection between her mind and the violence of her body.
  • He had not raised it halfway to his ear when he dropped it abruptly with a gesture that sent a vibration of panic through the room: he had had time to hear that the telephone was dead and to know that the wires were cut.
  • Then, abruptly, it ceased to matter; she felt a peculiar shock, like the shock of sudden silence, a sense of stillness within her, which she took for a sense of calm: she saw the number "367" above the door of an ancient tenement.
  • Dagny found herself pushing people out of the way, fighting to reach the end of the train-but an emaciated man, with the staring eyes of years of malicious futility, rushed at her, shouting, "It’s all right for you, you’ve got a good overcoat and a private car, but you won’t give us any trains, you and all the selfish-" He stopped abruptly, looking at someone behind her.
  • It was past midnight, when, still sitting at his desk, bent over blueprints of the bridge for the John Galt Line, he stopped his work abruptly, because emotion reached him in a sudden stab, not to be escaped any longer, as if a curtain of anesthesia had broken, He slumped down, halfway, still holding onto some shred of resistance, and sat, his chest pressed to the edge of the desk to stop him, his head hanging down, as if the only achievement still possible to him was not to let his…
  • He stopped abruptly, when they reached a deserted square where the public loud-speakers, which no one had thought of turning off, were now broadcasting a domestic comedy-the shrill voices of a husband and wife quarreling over Junior’s dates-to an empty stretch of pavement enclosed by unlighted house fronts.
  • He understood what she wanted him to do from her first few words and answered only with an abrupt "Yes, ma’am," but he was bent over his charts by the time the others came following her up the iron stairway, he was grimly at work on the most humiliating job of calculation he had ever had to perform in his long career.
  • The shaft of red smoke that shot to the sky on the night of January 22 and stood abnormally still for a while, like a solemn memorial obelisk, then wavered and swept back and forth across the sky, like a searchlight sending some undecipherable message, then went out as abruptly as it had come, marked the end of Rearden Steel-but the inhabitants of the area did not know it.
  • She turned the corner, with deliberately resonant steps, then stopped abruptly to listen: it was hard to tell whether the abnormal tightness inside her chest was the sound of her own heartbeats, and hard to distinguish it from the sound of distant wheels and from the glassy rustle which was the East River somewhere close by; but she heard no sound of human steps behind her.
  • I’m sorry," he said; she wondered whether she imagined the note of abruptness in his voice.
  • The confident skill of his movements, his manner of firing, with no time wasted to take aim, but with the kind of casual abruptness that never misses a target, made him look like a hero of Western legend-and Rearden watched him with detached, impersonal pleasure, as if the battle of the mills were not his any longer, but he could still enjoy the sight of the competence and certainty with which men of that distant age had once combatted evil.
  • When I went to college-" He broke off abruptly.
  • Today, if you saw the kind of men I’ve had to interview, you’d-" He stopped abruptly, as if at a sudden recollection.
  • He shot to his feet with the stored abruptness of a spring uncoiling, his voice driving on in merciless triumph: "You’re beginning to see, aren’t you?
  • She rose to her feet, but stopped: she heard his voice, its tone abruptly changed and grave, as if in answer to the shock of some sight confronting him: "What’s the matter?
  • That’s not the way to be moral-" Rearden started, and stopped abruptly, realizing that— it was the way, the only way left, realizing through how many twists of intellectual corruption upon corruption this boy had to struggle toward his momentous discovery.
  • It’s like on the railroad, too: I could get along with Gem Weatherby, he was civilized, but Cuffy Meigs-that’s something else again, that’s …."He stopped abruptly.
  • I used to tell him that in those college years, when I’d catch him sitting on the ground in my back yard, on cold, foggy evenings-he was reckless that way, he made me worry, he should have known it was dangerous and-" He stopped abruptly; he read in Dagny’s startled eyes the same thought as his own: the thought of the kind of dangers the adult Ragnar had chosen to face.
  • "You’re not officially supposed to hire anybody, bat that’s just a technicality, if you’ll put me on, my friends will okay it without any trouble and-" Something about Rearden’s eyes made him stop abruptly, then ask in an angrily impatient voice, "Well, what’s the matter?
  • It’s a deal with a mission-a worthy, public-spirited mission-to manage the nationalized properties of the various People’s States of South America, to teach their workers our modern techniques of production, to help the underprivileged who’ve never had a chance, to-" He broke off abruptly, though she had merely sat looking at him without shifting her glance.
  • He rose abruptly, but stopped to glance down at the broken remnant and said, with a chuckle that was not gay, "There was the motor for the John Galt Line."

  • There are no more uses of "abrupt" in the book.

To see samples from other sources, click a word sense below:
as in: an abrupt change Define
sudden and unexpected
as in: she is abrupt Define
rude or unfriendly because of using too few words or moving too quickly
Show Multiple Meanings
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