What word or phrase does your mother always say?


[uhn-pri-dik-tuh-buh l] /ˌʌn prɪˈdɪk tə bəl/
not predictable; not to be foreseen or foretold:
an unpredictable occurrence.
something that is unpredictable:
the unpredictables of life.
Origin of unpredictable
1855-60; un-1 + predictable
Related forms
unpredictability, unpredictableness, noun
unpredictably, adverb
1. erratic, fitful, variable, uncertain. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for unpredictable
  • Blustery, unpredictable fall weather calls for a transition coat, something between an overcoat and a raincoat.
  • There will be spectrum frequency conflict and unpredictable side effects.
  • As demand for freshwater soars, planetary supplies are becoming unpredictable.
  • Many of the nation's leading seismologists now think that earthquakes are inherently unpredictable.
  • Such problems have persisted, making every week unpredictable.
  • The millennium computer bug is totally predictable in its timing, but completely unpredictable in its effects.
  • We anticipate not only big, unpredictable winds but strong currents and tidal rips.
  • The far-reaching potential ramifications here could be endless and unpredictable.
  • With the concave shape of the asphalt lanes, the path of the ball can be unpredictable.
  • One of the birds that the trainers worked with, but was too unpredictable to be on stage, was a raven.
British Dictionary definitions for unpredictable


not capable of being predicted; changeable
Derived Forms
unpredictability, unpredictableness, noun
unpredictably, adverb
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 unpredictable

1857, from un- (1) "not" + predictable. Related: Unpredictably; unpredictability.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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