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

Besides the interface’s point-and-click simplicity, Netscape also provided unprecedented security. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "Later, Navigator: How Netscape Won and Then Lost the World Wide Web," 4 Apr. 2019 This year, the conference will start to cash in on UMBC’s unprecedented upset of overall top seed Virginia last year, the first No. Larry Fenn, The Seattle Times, "Money Madness: AP analysis shows growing gap in NCAA payouts," 27 Mar. 2019 Best of luck to those affected, as always—but maybe, in light of this year’s unprecedented wave of layoffs, the industry should figure out what the hell is going on and maybe make some changes accordingly. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Free copies of Morrowind, Divinity: Original Sin 2 gets a tactics spinoff," 25 Mar. 2019 This unprecedented act of violence in New Zealand involved semiautomatic weapons, in a country with strict gun laws, where mass shootings haven’t occurred since 1990. Ahmad Ibsais, Teen Vogue, "New Zealand's Mass Shooting is an Expression of the Violence Muslims Face Around the World," 15 Mar. 2019 The resulting assortment—which, like most of what Ferrer uses in his own projects, focuses on midcentury items from across Europe— is an unprecedented offering for a big box store. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "You Can Now Buy Vintage at CB2, Thanks to a Line from Charlie Ferrer," 14 Mar. 2019 Money has always been passed down in families, but today, across America, parents who can are helping their grown children at unprecedented levels. Jen Doll, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Does It Feel Like Everyone Has More Money Than You?," 12 Feb. 2019 SpaceX successfully launched the first two test satellites this year and received unprecedented approval from the Federal Communications Commission to launch the entire fleet in the years ahead. Loren Grush, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: SpaceX," 29 Dec. 2018 The Cheech’ in Riverside is a most fortuitous and logical conclusion to his search for a significant permanent home for his unprecedented collection. George Varga, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Cheech Marin of Cheech & Chong talks about pot, comedy, music, golf and his Chicano art museum," 11 July 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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Statistics for unprecedented

Last Updated

11 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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