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

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 Prince Charles also apparently suggested Zara Tindall's unusual name, so Meghan and Harry could still surprise everyone with a completely unanticipated pick — including something unabashedly American in honor of Mom. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "All of the Royal Baby Names Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Might Choose," 22 Mar. 2019 The initial cost was estimated to be $2.5 billion; the final cost, after a series of unanticipated hurdles, was $4.7 billion. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "The Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez 'Green New Deal' Wants to Get Rid of Nuclear Power. That's a Great Idea.," 8 Feb. 2019 What happened next offers important lessons for the U.S. about how trade conflicts can end in unanticipated ways. Peter Landers, WSJ, "The Old U.S. Trade War With Japan Looms Over Today’s Dispute With China," 13 Dec. 2018 After an unanticipated public backlash of having an AI bot calling humans, Google said that when the feature rolls out the chat bot will identify itself when calling. Jay Samit, Fortune, "Virtual Food Is Coming to a Menu Near You," 15 May 2018 Some of the non-overlapping results were unanticipated, too. Emily Willingham, Scientific American, "Analysis of a Million-Plus Genomes Points to Blurring Lines Among Brain Disorders," 22 June 2018 So the Mariners in 2013 began replacing the wheels and axles with more robust models — designating millions of dollars as unanticipated costs eligible to be paid for with admissions taxes by the Public Facilities District that oversees Safeco Field. Daniel Beekman, The Seattle Times, "In $180 million ask for public money, Mariners cite retractable roof used 400 times per year," 28 Aug. 2018 In addition, Whitman said, unanticipated costs like healthcare expenses often come into play — and can derail retirement plans if savings haven’t been put aside. Stephanie Walden, USA TODAY, "Answers to tough questions about retirement saving in your 40s and 50s," 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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Statistics for unanticipated

Last Updated

20 May 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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