not expected; unforeseen; surprising: an unexpected pleasure; an unexpected development.

Origin of unexpected

First recorded in 1580–90; un-1 + expect + -ed2
Related formsun·ex·pect·ed·ly, adverbun·ex·pect·ed·ness, noun

Synonyms for unexpected

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unexpectedness

Historical Examples of unexpectedness

  • Perhaps it was the unexpectedness of meeting a girl so charming that held him interested.

    The Night Riders

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • The unexpectedness of this misfire positively overcame his faculties.


    Joseph Conrad

  • The unexpectedness of her answer made him hesitate, but finally he ventured, "How did it feel?"

    Glory of Youth

    Temple Bailey

  • He was a little bewildered by the unexpectedness of the thing.

    The Genius

    Margaret Horton Potter

  • For the rest, I think the real charm must have been in its unexpectedness.

British Dictionary definitions for unexpectedness



surprising or unforeseen
Derived Formsunexpectedly, adverbunexpectedness, 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

Word Origin and History for unexpectedness



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper