un·​an·​tic·​i·​pat·​ed | \ ˌən-an-ˈti-sə-ˌpā-təd How to pronounce unanticipated (audio) \

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

All three runs were unearned -- American went ahead in the first thanks to a pair of errors -- but the triumph was thoroughly deserved, even if unanticipated. Scott French, latimes.com, "Costa Mesa National Little League captures Mayor’s Cup," 11 July 2019 Chiu said there are 7 million patients in the state who have private insurance and yet, because of the details of their insurance policies, are at risk of receiving big, unanticipated hospital bills. Heather Knight, SFChronicle.com, "Legislation to stop patients getting massive ER bills is on life support," 10 July 2019 Using dark humor to forge an honest exploration of loss and bonding, this show resonates deeply with anyone who's suffered the horrific pain of an unanticipated loss—the worst byproduct of middle age. NBC News, "'4 TV shows every 40-something woman I know is watching'," 6 July 2019 The research was made possible by the National Science Foundation's Rapid Response Research (RAPID) program, which helps support research of natural disasters and unanticipated events for which time is a factor in gathering data. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Did Hurricane Harvey bring more fire ants to Houston?," 26 Mar. 2018 As tends to be the case with unanticipated breakups, students and faculty acknowledge that, in retrospect, there were obvious signs that a demise was long in the making. Alia Wong, The Atlantic, "The End of an American College," 18 June 2019 Drumming declines were noted in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, followed by a slight increase in 2016 and a substantial increase in 2017 before the unanticipated drop in 2018. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Ruffed grouse drumming counts up 41% statewide," 15 June 2019 The depression eventually developed into unanticipated suicidal thoughts that landed me in a treatment program for PTSD. Womansday.com Staff, Woman's Day, "How A Painful Relationship Led To Helping Child Soldiers," 4 Mar. 2015 One way to do that, my supervisor understood, is not to approve in record time products that might experience unanticipated problems. Henry I. Miller, WSJ, "Follow the FDA’s Self-Interest," 28 Oct. 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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Statistics for unanticipated

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

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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).


to complain fretfully

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