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

Five years after the oil price crashed, output remains depressed in much of the region, even as the industry as a whole faces unprecedented disruption. The Economist, "Latin America’s state-run oil giants are struggling," 12 July 2019 But the same technology also creates an unprecedented ability to constrain or shape the diffusion of information. The Atlantic, "The Metamorphosis," 11 July 2019 Kompany won 12 major honours in his time at Manchester City, including their unprecedented domestic quadruple last season. SI.com, "Manchester City Announce Players to Play in Vincent Kompany's Testimonial," 11 July 2019 Paired with the game’s outstanding visual aesthetic, the unprecedented swordplay makes it a standout not just of this year, but of this entire console generation. Nick Romano, EW.com, "10 best videogames of 2019 (so far)," 27 June 2019 The Rio Grande Valley sector of the Border Patrol, which includes the area where the four bodies were found Sunday, has experienced an unprecedented number of apprehensions involving people entering the country illegally. Houston Chronicle, "Woman, toddler, 2 infants found dead in far South Texas," 24 June 2019 The solidarity in the media was unprecedented, as was the resilience of the protesters who were willing to risk arrest to stand up for Golunov. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "The Release of Ivan Golunov and the Power of Collective Action in Russia," 18 June 2019 Maximum Security’s Kentucky Derby disqualification was unprecedented, contentious and remains unresolved, pending litigation. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "With 3 fatalities, Churchill Downs' spring meet was its safest since at least 2010," 18 Apr. 2019 The flurry of big-name players changing teams was unprecedented and nearly $3 billion in contracts have been or are expected to be signed. oregonlive.com, "NBA free agency 2019: Damian Lillard, Brooklyn Nets, Kevin Durant, New York Knicks among winners and losers after Day 1," 1 July 2019

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

18 Jul 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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