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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

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 After a lot of unprecedented silence on social media from Kylie, baby Stormi is born on February 1! Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "A Complete Timeline of Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott's Relationship," 8 Aug. 2018 The weekly testing is part of an unprecedented Alaska-Canada collaboration to learn how increasing ocean acidity affects regional fisheries. Laine Welch, Anchorage Daily News, "For Alaska sockeye salmon, record highs in Bristol Bay, record lows nearly everywhere else," 9 July 2018 Under his skillful leadership, ITN has seen a period of unprecedented growth, reaching record levels of revenue and profits. Georg Szalai, The Hollywood Reporter, "ITN CEO John Hardie to Step Down," 4 July 2018 On one side is Kentucky’s $8.5 billion bourbon industry, which provides some 17,500 jobs and is in a period of unprecedented growth as distilleries sprout up around the state to sate the world’s thirst for Kentucky bourbon. Joseph Gerth, The Courier-Journal, "With aluminum tariffs, Matt Bevin is compromised and bourbon will pay," 22 June 2018 For a science that can count the bones of some entire fossil hominin species with the fingers of one hand, finding so many fossils of one species in one place is unprecedented. Lydia Pyne, Ars Technica, "Rising Star found a new species—now it wants to find a new way for paleoanthropology," 20 Dec. 2018 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of unprecedented

1641, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about unprecedented

Statistics for unprecedented

Last Updated

23 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unprecedented

The first known use of unprecedented was in 1641

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on unprecedented

What made you want to look up unprecedented? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

highly pertinent or appropriate

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!