un·​fore·​seen | \ ˌən-fȯr-ˈsēn \

Definition of unforeseen

: not anticipated or expected : not foreseen : unexpected an unforeseen delay unforeseen consequences

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Examples of unforeseen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

And the smallest unforeseen detail can muck something up at the last minute. Loren Grush, The Verge, "On New Year’s Day, a spacecraft will zoom by the most distant object humanity has ever visited," 27 Dec. 2018 George Stephanopoulos and James Carville dealing with unforeseen problems and negative press, as their candidate is saddled with accusations of adultery and draft-dodging. Vogue, "These Are the 66 Best Documentaries of All Time," 8 Aug. 2018 Regardless, this lawsuit will be a fascinating and potentially precedent-setting experiment in how copyright law treats a relatively new and unforeseen type of digital creation. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Epic Games is getting sued for turning rapper 2 Milly’s dance into a Fortnite emote," 5 Dec. 2018 Synthetic biology could open Pandora’s box, releasing new organisms into the wild with unforeseen consequences. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Military Wants to Create Synthetic Life Forms to Track Enemies," 4 Dec. 2018 All of us are one unforeseen disaster away from rock bottom. Fox News, "Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams to open free grocery store in Nashville," 3 Oct. 2018 The same should be true for Android — that is unless Epic runs into some unforeseen hurdles due to its direct distribution model. Nick Statt, The Verge, "How to install Fortnite on Android," 13 Aug. 2018 His successor will be picked in this Democratic primary, barring something unforeseen. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Live results for the 2018 Michigan primary elections," 7 Aug. 2018 Benefit: Proceeds will be donated to the MS Society, and to the Southern Smoke Emergency Relief Fund, which provides money to those in the restaurant industry who are faced with unforeseen expenses not covered by insurance. Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle, "Southern Smoke tickets on sale July 10 at noon," 10 July 2018

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

1651, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

19 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for unforeseen

The first known use of unforeseen was in 1651

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More Definitions for unforeseen


un·​fore·​seen | \ ˌən-fōr-ˈsēn\

Kids Definition of unforeseen

: not known beforehand : unexpected unforeseen problems

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More from Merriam-Webster on unforeseen

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unforeseen

Spanish Central: Translation of unforeseen

Nglish: Translation of unforeseen for Spanish Speakers

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