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

In hardship cases, the AIA committee needs documented proof that a reason for the transfer was from a situation that was unforeseen, unavoidable or unable to correct. Haskell Sr. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Six Deer Valley football players transfer from school after fight," 27 June 2018 Department spokesperson Ning Jiang says the work is estimated to take three days to complete - unless crews encounter unforeseen challenges. Rosemarie Stein, OregonLive.com, "Portland Metro Friday Traffic: Survey work in Battle Ground delays travel at SR 502/503 intersection," 9 Mar. 2018 In fact, the basic principle of insurance—pooling risk in order to minimize liability from unforeseen dangers—is one of the things that made modern capitalism possible. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, "Insuring Against Disaster," 20 Feb. 2019 YouTube frequently tinkers with its algorithm as some changes lead to unforeseen consequences. Yoree Koh, WSJ, "YouTube to Curb Its Referrals to Conspiracy Theories and Other False Claims," 25 Jan. 2019 The bloc seldom resorts to trade safeguards, which are intended as temporary relief from imports surging due to unforeseen developments. Emre Peker, WSJ, "Europe Restricts Steel Imports to Counter U.S. Trade Policies," 16 Jan. 2019 December 25, 2018: Delta Air Lines Flight 128 Emergencies can take you to some unforeseen places, as the 200 passengers on board a Delta Flight from Beijing to Seattle last Christmas Eve can attest. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "8 Emergency Landings That Rival the 'Miracle on the Hudson'," 15 Jan. 2019 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

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

16 Mar 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



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

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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

Comments on unforeseen

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


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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