without previous instance; never before known or experienced; unexampled or unparalleled: an unprecedented event.

Origin of unprecedented

First recorded in 1615–25; un-1 + precedent + -ed2
Related formsun·prec·e·dent·ed·ly, adverbun·prec·e·dent·ed·ness, noun

Synonyms for unprecedented

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

Examples from the Web for unprecedented

Contemporary Examples of unprecedented

Historical Examples of unprecedented

  • It was the sensation of an unprecedented and incredible experience.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • All here is so unprecedented, so changed, so sudden and unfair, that I am absolutely lost.

    A Tale of Two Cities

    Charles Dickens

  • Galusha had what was, for him, an amazing and unprecedented inspiration.

    Galusha the Magnificent

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • "Both sides fought with unprecedented frenzy," said a resident to us.

    Aztec Land

    Maturin M. Ballou

  • If so, he had performed an unprecedented feat in recalling it so aptly.

    Peak and Prairie

    Anna Fuller

British Dictionary definitions for unprecedented



having no precedent; unparalleled
Derived Formsunprecedentedly, 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

Word Origin and History for unprecedented

1620s, from un- (1) "not" + precedented. In common use from c.1760.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper