un·an·tic·i·pat·ed | \ˌən-an-ˈti-sə-ˌpā-təd \

Definition of unanticipated 

: not anticipated : unexpected, unforeseen

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Other Words from unanticipated

unanticipatedly adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for unanticipated


abrupt, sudden, unexpected, unforeseen, unlooked-for


anticipated, expected, foreseen

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Examples of unanticipated in a Sentence

The new policy has had some unanticipated side effects. ran into some unanticipated difficulties with the computer program

Recent Examples on the Web

If opportunities to use or share data in unanticipated ways arise — as is common in long-term studies like the Framingham Heart Study — researchers must renew consent for each new application of the data. BostonGlobe.com, "What Facebook can learn from academia about protecting privacy," 15 June 2018 The abundance of games that have broken in unanticipated ways has primed us for a wild Final Four. Chris Johnson, SI.com, "Making the Case For Each Final Four Team to Win the Title," 30 Mar. 2018 What’s unusual this year is policy makers have the flexibility to spend so much unanticipated cash. Joshua Miller, BostonGlobe.com, "Governor Baker proposes $72 million for school safety," 13 July 2018 The law had the unanticipated result of interrupting circular migration patterns and trapping Mexican immigrants in the United States. Chronicle Staff Report, San Francisco Chronicle, "How US immigration laws have evolved," 14 Jan. 2018 During the last three years, restaurants in Trump Organization properties have not been hit with shutdown orders — like the unanticipated outcome of a Nevada inspection in late 2012. Zlati Meyer, USA TODAY, "Trump vs. Red Hen restaurant: Eateries in Trump properties also dinged for violations," 5 July 2018 An unanticipated population explosion had taken place along the L line in Brooklyn, as young people were driven out of Manhattan by high rents. William Finnegan, The New Yorker, "Can Andy Byford Save the Subways?," 2 July 2018 The delightful emulator/nostalgia-fest sparked unanticipated demand, including near-instant supply issues and 200-percent-plus markups in secondary markets. Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica, "Guidemaster: One-upping the NES Classic Edition with the Raspberry Pi 3 and RetroPie," 30 June 2018 Burdened by the unanticipated expense of the KFC Yum Center, and consequently wary of new sports subsidies, Louisville easily could have dismissed pro soccer as another unneeded claim on the public purse. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville City's James O'Connor has earned his exit bows," 29 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unanticipated.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of unanticipated

circa 1779, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for unanticipated

The first known use of unanticipated was circa 1779

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English Language Learners Definition of unanticipated

: not expected or anticipated : not thought of as a possibility

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Comments on unanticipated

What made you want to look up unanticipated? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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