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[uhn-ik-spek-tid] /ˌʌn ɪkˈspɛk tɪd/
not expected; unforeseen; surprising:
an unexpected pleasure; an unexpected development.
Origin of unexpected
First recorded in 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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for unexpected
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I might have paid them at the time, but it was all so unexpected and so sudden,—it rattled me, quite.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • This unexpected opposition excited the fierce resentment of the captain.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • No one was more surprised than Robert at the unexpected inheritance.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • It is curious to note the extent to which the unexpected has come about.

    'Tis Sixty Years Since Charles Francis Adams
  • Sallie Calkins was somewhat flurried by this unexpected call.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
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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