un·​fore·​seen | \ ˌən-fȯr-ˈsēn How to pronounce unforeseen (audio) \

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 An unforeseen complication unfolds when Dracula invites the world’s most-infamous monsters to his lavish resort to celebrate his daughter’s 118th birthday. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: James Dean in ‘Giant’ on TCM and more," 2 Apr. 2021 That wouldn’t have been as daunting if chipmakers weren’t then swamped by unforeseen demand. chicagotribune.com, "What consumers need to know about the computer chip shortage," 2 Apr. 2021 What have been some of the unforeseen hurdles and growing pains? Rachel King, Fortune, "The new online grocer championing the diversity of Asian American cuisines and cultures," 28 Mar. 2021 Barring an unforeseen demographic detour, global shrinkage looms. The Economist, "Free Exchange The economics of falling populations," 27 Mar. 2021 Kemp has consistently dismissed criticism over his handling of the pandemic, an unforeseen catastrophe that nonetheless is likely to define his legacy as governor. Alan Judd, ajc, "Georgia governor ignored experts as the pandemic raged," 26 Mar. 2021 James Marsters, who played the fan-favorite villain turned hero vampire Spike, shared that Whedon once backed him into a wall, disparaging him for his character’s unforeseen popularity in the series. Gabrielle Sanchez, Vulture, "A Complete Timeline of Every Joss Whedon Controversy," 24 Mar. 2021 The provision could help people who received unforeseen income last year such as hazard pay or perhaps were laid off and hired back as a contractor at higher pay but without benefits, experts said. NBC News, "Covid rescue package offers help for health insurance. Here's how to get the most benefit," 23 Mar. 2021 The shortage was another unforeseen complication of COVID-19 because many meat shops were overwhelmed by local beef and pork orders triggered by springtime shutdowns of large meatpacking plants in the Midwest. Tony Kennedy, Star Tribune, "When so much else slumped in 2020, nature took off," 26 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for unforeseen

Time Traveler

The first known use of unforeseen was in 1651

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Statistics for unforeseen

Last Updated

5 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unforeseen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unforeseen. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for unforeseen



English Language Learners Definition of unforeseen

: not predicted or expected


un·​fore·​seen | \ ˌən-fōr-ˈsēn \

Kids Definition of unforeseen

: not known beforehand : unexpected unforeseen problems

More from Merriam-Webster on unforeseen

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Nglish: Translation of unforeseen for Spanish Speakers

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