un·​pre·​dict·​able | \ ˌən-pri-ˈdik-tə-bəl How to pronounce unpredictable (audio) \

Definition of unpredictable

: not predictable: such as
a : not able to be known or declared in advance unpredictable weather
b : tending to behave in ways that cannot be predicted an unpredictable boss

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from unpredictable

unpredictably \ ˌən-​pri-​ˈdik-​tə-​blē How to pronounce unpredictable (audio) \ adverb
changes that occur unpredictably
unpredictability \ ˌən-​pri-​ˌdik-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce unpredictable (audio) \ noun
the unpredictability of the weather

Examples of unpredictable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The salary cap is unpredictable and is probably going to drop right now. Mary Kay Cabot, cleveland, "Andrew Berry ‘very pleased with’ Baker Mayfield but not verbally committing to extension like John Harbaugh with Lamar Jackson," 21 Jan. 2021 Nevertheless, just like the show, the writers are unpredictable — and Jennifer believes things can change in the blink of an eye. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Jennifer C. Holmes Opens Up About Her Powerful Performance as Laurel on 'This Is Us'," 13 Jan. 2021 With so many remaining variables, 2021 will be unpredictable. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "When in 2021 will pro, college and youth sports return to normal?," 31 Dec. 2020 How the problems play out in different people is unpredictable, doctors say, with some gradually getting better and others not. Elizabeth Cooney, STAT, "Explanations for ‘long Covid’ remain elusive. For now, believing patients and treating symptoms is the best doctors can do," 29 Dec. 2020 But that need for control drives us to plan, even today when so much is unpredictable. CBS News, "Going to Plan B: When COVID pulls the rug out from under you," 27 Dec. 2020 Astronomers have yet to determine what causes these fast radio bursts, which are unpredictable but can be spotted and traced back to their origin using sensitive telescopes. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "The year 2020 in space discoveries," 24 Dec. 2020 Because like everything else, the colors are unpredictable. Kimberly Wilson, Essence, "10 Holiday Gifts Inspired By Pantone’s 2021 Colors Of The Year," 14 Dec. 2020 But some infectious disease experts say the process is unethical and could lead to long-term damage or death, considering the virus has been very unpredictable. Kellie Hwang, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: Why young people are lining up to get infected with the coronavirus," 16 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unpredictable.' 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 unpredictable

1840, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about unpredictable

Time Traveler for unpredictable

Time Traveler

The first known use of unpredictable was in 1840

See more words from the same year

Statistics for unpredictable

Last Updated

26 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unpredictable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unpredictable. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for unpredictable


How to pronounce unpredictable (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of unpredictable

: not capable of being known before happening or being done
: not always behaving in a way that is expected


un·​pre·​dict·​able | \ ˌən-pri-ˈdik-tə-bəl \

Kids Definition of unpredictable

: impossible to predict The king was a completely unpredictable tyrant.— Brian Jacques, Redwall

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on unpredictable

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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