un·ex·pect·ed | \ˌən-ik-ˈspek-təd \

Definition of unexpected 

: not expected : unforeseen

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Other Words from unexpected

unexpectedly adverb
unexpectedness noun

Examples of unexpected in a Sentence

an unexpected turn of events I'm sad that she's leaving, but it was not unexpected.

Recent Examples on the Web

Hasbro artists asked two critical questions to unlock their creative breakthrough: What is something customers do, want, or feel that is non-traditional or unexpected? Josh Linkner, Detroit Free Press, "New Monopoly game created for cheaters, questionable behavior," 25 May 2018 But Tocchet’s tale took an unexpected turn when the name of Janet Gretzky, wife of the Great One, appeared in the books. Chris Chase, For The Win, "11 biggest scandals in sports gambling history," 16 May 2018 Incarceration was taxing on the then 55-year-old in ways both obvious and unexpected. Catherine Womack, Los Angeles Magazine, "An L.A. Aesthetician Once Accused of Murder for Hire Is Now Offering “Killer Facials”," 15 May 2018 Following Prince Louis' christening yesterday in London, Kate Middleton has made an unexpected appearance to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force today. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Makes a Surprise Appearance Wearing McQueen at the RAF 100th Anniversary Celebrations," 10 July 2018 In 2016 the court had appeared poised to overturn the 1977 ruling, but Justice Antonin Scalia’s unexpected death left the conservatives one vote short. Fortune, "U.S. Supreme Court Rules Against Unions on Mandatory Fees," 27 June 2018 Also unusual was the unexpected appearance at both briefings of the president's new White House lawyer, Emmet Flood, which drew criticism from Democrats and legal observers. Chris Megerian, latimes.com, "Justice Department leaders brief lawmakers on Russia investigation," 24 May 2018 Kutcher, who made an unexpected appearance on the Wednesday show, said Ripple was inspired to donate to the fund, which DeGeneres’ wife, Portia de Rossi, gifted her as a 60th birthday present back in January. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "Ashton Kutcher brings Ellen DeGeneres to tears with $4 million donation to her wildlife fund," 23 May 2018 Royal fans who are lining the streets of Windsor ahead of Saturday’s royal wedding were in for a major surprise on Friday afternoon when the groom and the best man made an unexpected appearance! Diana Pearl, PEOPLE.com, "Prince Harry and Prince William Surprise Fans Camping Out for Royal Wedding: See the Photos!," 18 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unexpected.' 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 unexpected

circa 1586, in the meaning defined above

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Phrases Related to unexpected

the unexpected

Statistics for unexpected

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unexpected

The first known use of unexpected was circa 1586

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More Definitions for unexpected



English Language Learners Definition of unexpected

: not expected


un·ex·pect·ed | \ˌən-ik-ˈspek-təd \

Kids Definition of unexpected

: not expected : unforeseen an unexpected visit

Other Words from unexpected

unexpectedly adverb

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Comments on unexpected

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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