un·​fore·​seen ˌən-fȯr-ˈsēn How to pronounce unforeseen (audio)
: not anticipated or expected : not foreseen : unexpected
an unforeseen delay
unforeseen consequences

Examples of unforeseen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Hathaway took on the hosting duties after Sarah Jessica Parker, who originally planned to host the awards ceremony, had to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances. Genevieve Cepeda, Peoplemag, 7 Nov. 2023 But war breeds chaos and chaos breeds unforeseen consequences. Eric Cortellessa, TIME, 20 Oct. 2023 The tragedy of the situation for medical professionals like Hart is that the shortages are preventable because they were not prompted by the kind of unforeseen events—like COVID lockdowns or natural disasters—which led to a similar scramble for semiconductor chips two years ago. Bychristiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 28 Oct. 2023 Ukraine’s revolutions of 2004 and 2014, the annexation of Crimea by Vladimir Putin in 2014, and his all-out invasion on February 24, 2022, were all similarly unforeseen. Tim Judah, The New York Review of Books, 13 Sep. 2023 This year, May and Gonsolin suffered season-ending elbow injuries, Kershaw battled a shoulder ailment that hampered his stuff and, in one last unforeseen twist, Urías also landed on administrative leave following a September arrest on suspicion of domestic violence. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 22 Oct. 2023 But in practice by 2016, owing to loopholes and changes unforeseen by NAFTA, even a car that was made mostly of foreign parts could qualify. Robert E. Lighthizer, Foreign Affairs, 27 Sep. 2023 In late September, Pink updated fans in Texas about more unforeseen circumstances. Angel Saunders, Peoplemag, 20 Oct. 2023 Proceeds from the event will provide essential support for MusiCares, the charity that offers health and human services to music professionals, from physical and mental health aid to addiction recovery, preventive clinic support, unforeseen personal emergencies and disaster relief. Mesfin Fekadu, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'unforeseen.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1651, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of unforeseen was in 1651

Dictionary Entries Near unforeseen

Cite this Entry

“Unforeseen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unforeseen. Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on unforeseen

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!