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 Counsell also weighed in on some of the unprecedented changes the game will feature this season. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "‘Everybody’s excited’: COVID-19 will present challenges, yes, but baseball’s return is only a week away," 26 June 2020 Personal consumption expenditures -- i.e. spending -- jumped an unprecedented 8.2%, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Friday. Anneken Tappe, CNN, "Americans' paychecks are getting smaller, but their spending is soaring. Huh?," 26 June 2020 Naturally, the Trump presidency has unique and unprecedented features, from alt-right populism to brazen nepotism, self-dealing, narcissistic histrionics, autocratic proclivities, and beyond. Mugambi Jouet, The New Republic, "The Trump Cult Is Loyal to an Ideology, Not the Man," 26 June 2020 Twitter is an unprecedented platform that gives individuals a voice on a global scale, shaping conversations of our society near and far. Will Knight, Wired, "If Done Right, AI Could Make Policing Fairer," 25 June 2020 Despite trillions of dollars in government stimulus and unprecedented intervention from the Fed, many say an economic recovery hinges most on more federal assistance and a vaccine or cure to end to the coronavirus pandemic. Washington Post, "The Fed is cracking down on big banks to guard against risk posed to the financial system from the coronavirus pandemic," 25 June 2020 Several have exceeded 5 C, with the highest reaching an unprecedented 5.6 C. Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, "Clouds May Be the Key to a Climate Modeling Mystery," 25 June 2020 The unprecedented 60-game season may not be too kind to them, either. Dallas News, "Texas Rangers considered a long shot for 2020 World Series title," 25 June 2020 Gulf Arab officials and observers accuse Mr. Netanyahu of jeopardizing a careful and unprecedented thawing of ties that Gulf leaders pursued with Israel at the expense of their own domestic politics. Joshua Mitnick, The Christian Science Monitor, "Netanyahu’s annexation dilemma: Making history, but at what cost?," 25 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for unprecedented

Time Traveler

The first known use of unprecedented was in 1641

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Statistics for unprecedented

Last Updated

29 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unprecedented.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unprecedented. Accessed 7 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for unprecedented


How to pronounce unprecedented (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of unprecedented

: not done or experienced before


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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