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

Town Manager Scott Crabtree submitted the proposal in response to an unanticipated increase in the construction of multifamily dwellings. Jennifer Fenn Lefferts, BostonGlobe.com, "Too much, too fast? Towns hit ‘pause’ on big projects," 1 Aug. 2019 In contrast to these unanticipated circumstances, the flow of drugs across the Mexican border is old news and well understood. S.m. | New York, The Economist, "Donald Trump’s border wall reaches the Supreme Court," 17 July 2019 Eventually, lawmakers will have to bring privacy laws into the digital age to address unanticipated uses of medical information. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Alexa may be key to Amazon’s looming domination of the healthcare market," 16 July 2019 Think of AirDrop as anonymous note-passing for the digital era, with the extra capacity for unanticipated mayhem. Washington Post, "How AirDrop requests have become Gen Z’s version of passing notes," 10 July 2019 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

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

12 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for unanticipated

The first known use of unanticipated was circa 1779

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More Definitions for unanticipated



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).


a haphazard or makeshift solution

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