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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. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for unexpectedness
Historical Examples
  • But there was more in this apparition to excite unpleasant emotions, than the mere circumstance of its unexpectedness.

    J. S. Le Fanu's Ghostly Tales, Volume 2 Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
  • For the rest, I think the real charm must have been in its unexpectedness.

  • The blow had fallen upon Virginia with the unexpectedness and appalling swiftness of a bolt from the blue.

    Bought and Paid For Arthur Hornblow
  • Because of the unexpectedness of this, and because of his wrath, Foma's heart shrank.

    Foma Gordyeff Maxim Gorky
  • The characteristic Mark-like unexpectedness of this made her smile.

    The Brimming Cup Dorothy Canfield Fisher
  • For a moment Stratton was taken aback by the unexpectedness of the question.

    Shoe-Bar Stratton Joseph Bushnell Ames
  • But each of these attacks attained notoriety from its unexpectedness.

    Americanisms and Briticisms Brander Matthews
  • The unexpectedness of this misfire positively overcame his faculties.

    Chance Joseph Conrad
  • She seemed to be amazed both by the unexpectedness of my appearance and by what had been happening to her, but she uttered no cry.

    The Gentleman from San Francisco Ivan Alekseyevich Bunin
  • For a little, he seemed dazed by the unexpectedness of this evil.

    Heart of the Blue Ridge Waldron Baily
British Dictionary definitions for unexpectedness


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 unexpectedness



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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