un·​prec·​e·​dent·​ed | \ ˌən-ˈpre-sə-ˌden-təd How to pronounce unprecedented (audio) \

Definition of unprecedented

: having no precedent : novel, unexampled

Other Words from unprecedented

unprecedentedly adverb

Examples of unprecedented in a Sentence

… on one occasion, a president (Eisenhower) refers to himself as "conservative." Four years later, the Republican presidential nominee (Goldwater) announces that he is "a conservative." Another sixteen years later, Ronald Reagan, a self-declared conservative, is elected president by an overwhelming majority. By that time—1980—more Americans identify themselves as conservatives than as liberals. This was, and remains, a tectonic transformation, unprecedented in American history. — John Lukacs, Harper's, March 2008 Faced with an unprecedented crisis that combines cyclical turbulence with metastasizing digital technology that steals away revenue and readers at an alarming and seemingly accelerating rate (while offering newspapers only stingy payoffs), publishers and editors everywhere have thrown away their rule books—and, to find their way in this new and alien environment, are ready to implement previously unthinkable changes. — Mark Fitzgerald et al., Editor & Publisher, August 2008 Many of the forces that initially sent the economy into a tailspin in 1929 and 1930 have been at work in the 2000s as well: a stock-market boom turned bust, a real estate boom turned bust, unprecedented levels of consumer debt. — Justin Fox, Time, 10 Mar. 2008 Shakespeare served as exemplar of the writer who achieved success, and an unprecedented degree of financial reward, from his pen alone. — Jonathan Bate, Harper's, April 2007 Fan fiction … was once mainly a fringe pursuit. Now, it's changing the world of fiction, as Internet exposure helps unknown authors find mainstream success. Some Web sites are attracting unprecedented numbers of readers and, in some cases, leading to book deals. — John Jurgensen, Wall Street Journal, 16–17 Sept. 2006 Shocking as it is, more than a month after the hurricane hit, New Orleans is still, for all practical purposes, a ghost town. The entire population has left—an unprecedented situation in modern times in any major city anywhere. — Tom Piazza, Why New Orleans Matters, 2005 The team has enjoyed unprecedented success this year. This level of growth is unprecedented. An unprecedented number of students are taking the class. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Nollywood movies on Netflix and Afrobeat on the radio—is also enjoying an unprecedented level of visibility. Lola Ogunnaike, Men's Health, 2 Aug. 2022 The final was watched by a record crowd of more than 87,000 at Wembley and a huge TV audience, after a tournament that received an unprecedented level of media coverage. Jill Lawless, ajc, 31 July 2022 Such a case would be unprecedented, and would almost certainly inflame political disputes in a country that is already deeply divided. Emma Platoff, BostonGlobe.com, 29 July 2022 San Francisco has a Black mayor, district attorney and police chief, marking an unprecedented level of representation in a city with a marginal and declining Black populace. Justin Phillips, San Francisco Chronicle, 27 July 2022 Clegg characterized Meta’s original decision to begin removing those claims as an unprecedented step brought on by the global health emergency. Brian Fung, CNN, 26 July 2022 But this spring’s heat wave, which continued into the summer, has been unprecedented in its severity, duration, and geographic expanse. Dhruv Khullar, The New Yorker, 25 July 2022 Rosen had explained there was neither legal authority nor factual basis to justify the unprecedented step. Rosalind S. Helderman, Anchorage Daily News, 21 July 2022 The latter part of 2021 and early 2022 have seen an unprecedented pullback in biotech markets. Craig Martin, STAT, 23 July 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unprecedented.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of unprecedented

1641, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of unprecedented was in 1641

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Last Updated

5 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Unprecedented.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unprecedented. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for unprecedented


un·​prec·​e·​dent·​ed | \ ˌən-ˈpre-sə-ˌden-təd How to pronounce unprecedented (audio) \

Kids Definition of unprecedented

: not done or experienced before The event was unprecedented.

More from Merriam-Webster on unprecedented

Nglish: Translation of unprecedented for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unprecedented for Arabic Speakers


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