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choppy

When water is choppy, it's wind-blown and rippling with waves. It's tricky for a beginner to sail in a choppy lake.

Choppy usually describes what happens to the surface of a body of water during a storm. Strong wind blowing across a bay, for example, turns the water choppy and rough. Something with a jerky, abrupt way of moving or flowing is also choppy, whether it's a piece of music or a filmed scene in a movie. In the 1600s, a stormy sea was described as chopping, which had changed to choppy by about 1830.

Definitions of choppy
  1. adjective
    rough with small waves
    choppy seas”
    Synonyms:
    stormy
    (especially of weather) affected or characterized by storms or commotion
  2. adjective
    marked by abrupt transitions
    choppy prose”
    synonyms: jerky
    sudden
    happening without warning or in a short space of time
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