unprecedented

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

Definition of unprecedented

: having no precedent : novel, unexampled

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Senior Democratic lawmakers describe the cloak of secrecy surrounding Trump’s meetings with Putin as unprecedented and disturbing. Greg Miller, The Seattle Times, "Trump has concealed details of his face-to-face encounters with Putin from senior officials in administration," 13 Jan. 2019 The unprecedented meeting came after decades of hostility between the two countries. Aric Jenkins, Fortune, "'I Do Trust' Kim Jong-Un, Donald Trump Tells ABC in First Post-Summit Interview," 12 June 2018 Toscani, of course, had close ties with Benetton; his prescient social commentary campaigns for the Benetton brand were unprecedented, wildly controversial, and hugely successful—woke before woke was woke. Luke Leitch, Vogue, "Jean Charles de Castelbajac Unites With Benetton in Milan," 20 Feb. 2019 Concerns over declines in Wisconsin ruffed grouse indices led the Natural Resources Board on Wednesday to take the unprecedented action of shortening the hunting season for the prized upland bird species. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: With West Nile a threat and numbers down, the ruffed grouse season will end early," 27 June 2018 Considering Adventures in Hollyhood was filmed around the time Last 2 Walk was recorded, the show now paints a clear picture of artists who are hungry for ubiquity and spreading themselves too thin after unprecedented success. Patrick Lyons, Billboard, "10 Years Ago, Three 6 Mafia's 'Last 2 Walk' Almost Ruined Their Legacy," 24 June 2018 And the program is expanding with unprecedented success, with plans to move into Cameroon and Mozambique in the coming months. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "It’s Pooches vs. Poachers in the Fight Against Wildlife Smugglers," 22 June 2018 This isn’t unprecedented; in 2005 and 2006, the murder rate in the US increased before continuing its long-term decline — to new record lows — in the ensuing years. German Lopez, Vox, "Crime and murder fell in America’s most populous cities in 2018," 18 Dec. 2018 Stephen Rapp, who served as U.S. ambassador-at-large for global criminal justice in the Obama administration, said the case of Ms. Shweikani is not unprecedented. Courtney Mcbride, WSJ, "U.S. Citizen, Believed Executed in Syrian Prison, Heightens Fears for Others," 18 Dec. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of unprecedented

1641, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

14 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for unprecedented

The first known use of unprecedented was in 1641

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More Definitions for unprecedented

unprecedented

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of unprecedented

: not done or experienced before

unprecedented

adjective
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.

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Comments on unprecedented

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