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[uhn-ik-spek-tid] /ˌʌn ɪkˈspɛk tɪd/
not expected; unforeseen; surprising:
an unexpected pleasure; an unexpected development.
Origin of unexpected
1580-90; un-1 + expect + -ed2
Related forms
unexpectedly, adverb
unexpectedness, noun
unanticipated. See sudden. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for unexpected
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If we could only recapture the unexpected, how fine that would be!

    The Cornish Coast (South) Charles G. Harper
  • Forgive the transports of a blessing so unexpected, so unhoped for, so unthought of!

  • The unexpected blow had stupefied the farmer; he had grown very white.

    Autumn Glory Ren Bazin
  • Madeleine could not but be touched by this unexpected declaration.

    Fairy Fingers Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie
  • The unexpected fog, however, now blurred these instructions in a confused jumble in his mind.

    The Wolves of God Algernon Blackwood
British Dictionary definitions for unexpected


surprising or unforeseen
Derived Forms
unexpectedly, adverb
unexpectedness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for unexpected

1580s, from un- (1) "not" + past participle of expect. Related: Unexpectedly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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