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

Flood warning Lake City residents knew the avalanches around their town of about 400 people this past winter were unprecedented. Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post, "18,000 sandbags later, Lake City flood fears diminish even as rivers rise across southwestern Colorado," 16 June 2019 The project, modeled after Marvel’s Phase 1 films, which had culminated in 2012’s The Avengers, was unprecedented; small-screen crossovers were rare events, and the CW’s superhero universe had barely begun to form. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "The Marvel-Netflix Universe’s Final Hero," 14 June 2019 The dismissal was unprecedented in recent Russian history. Sabra Ayres, latimes.com, "Russia detains more than 400 in protests following journalist’s release," 12 June 2019 In the last century, modern media has allowed the public unprecedented access to royal families during major life events. Heather Brady, National Geographic, "Vintage photos of royal families from all over the world," 8 May 2019 Getty Images In an unprecedented move, Kensington Palace has released official guidelines for interacting with the Royal Family on social media. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Kensington Palace Just Made Moves to Tackle Online Abuse Against the Royal Family," 4 Mar. 2019 Just how serious was made public for the first time in the brand’s 108-year history last June when the company made the unprecedented move of publishing its annual results. Jessica Iredale, Town & Country, "Virginie Viard, Karl Lagerfeld's Secret Weapon, Succeeds Him at Chanel," 19 Feb. 2019 Cancellations aren’t unprecedented, but are usually due to an unexpected event requiring the president’s attention, such as the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger explosion, which kept the Super Bowl champions Chicago Bears from their visit. Katherine Nails, Philly.com, "Trump again breaks tradition by rescinding Eagles' invitation to White House," 5 June 2018 Supposedly, The Purge has led to unprecedented economic growth and widespread social civility. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "The new horror film canon (and where to stream it)," 1 Nov. 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

20 Jun 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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