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

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Other Words from unpredictable

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

Examples of unpredictable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The unpredictable nature of NCAA justice was the theme of a Hotline column Thursday that used the sanctions levied against USC football in the Reggie Bush case as an extreme example when pondering what might happen to Arizona. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, "Hotline newsletter: Website ranks the Pac-12 football coaches, and the Hotline weighs in," 17 June 2019 Greenseid, who has purchased insulin for her daughter in six countries, said U.S. prices stand out as not just high, but unpredictable. Emily Rauhala, Anchorage Daily News, "As insulin costs soar, American diabetics caravan to Canada for lifesaving medicine," 17 June 2019 One big problem with putting autonomous drones to work delivering packages—or flying search-and-rescue missions—is that the sky is complicated and unpredictable. Richard Conniff, Scientific American, "In the Wiggle of an Ear, a Surprising Insight into Bat Sonar," 17 June 2019 Greenseid, who has purchased insulin for her daughter in six countries, said U.S. prices stand out as not just high, but unpredictable. nola.com, "As insulin costs rise, American diabetics make for Canada," 16 June 2019 But for competition, nature is far too unpredictable. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "The Biggest Ice-Climbing Wall in American History," 23 Feb. 2019 And those changes are unpredictable -- and not necessarily beneficial to the United States. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "The absolute chaos of Donald Trump's G7 meeting (and what it means moving forward)," 11 June 2018 And even though the Beach Boys currently operate in multiple touring incarnations, with decades of acrimony and creative differences keeping their story as unpredictable as ever, there’s a boyish wonder between them. Morgan Enos, Billboard, "The Beach Boys Reflect on Their Royal Philharmonic Collaboration: 'It's Like a Punctuation Mark on an Entire Career'," 8 June 2018 And one thing that is usually unpredictable is the weather. Teen Vogue, "These 12 Beauty Products Are Just As Important As Your Coachella Outfits," 9 Apr. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of unpredictable

1840, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for unpredictable

Last Updated

21 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unpredictable

The first known use of unpredictable was in 1840

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More Definitions for unpredictable



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

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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).


to take the place or position of

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