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Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does unexpected mean? 

UNEXPECTED (adjective)
  The adjective UNEXPECTED has 4 senses:

1. not expected or anticipated
2. made necessary by an unexpected situation or emergency
3. not planned
4. happening or coming quickly and without warning

  Familiarity information: UNEXPECTED used as an adjective is uncommon.

 Dictionary entry details 

UNEXPECTED (adjective)

Sense 1unexpected [BACK TO TOP]


Not expected or anticipated

Context examples:

unexpected guests / unexpected news


unannounced; unheralded; unpredicted (without warning or announcement)

out of the blue; unanticipated; unforeseen; unlooked-for (not anticipated)

unhoped; unhoped-for; unthought; unthought-of (so unexpected as to have not been imagined)

unprovided for (not prepared or ready for)

upset (used of an unexpected defeat of a team favored to win)


surprising (causing surprise or wonder or amazement)


expected (considered likely or probable to happen or arrive)

Sense 2unexpected [BACK TO TOP]


Made necessary by an unexpected situation or emergency


unexpected; forced

Context example:

a forced landing


unscheduled (not scheduled or not on a regular schedule)

Sense 3unexpected [BACK TO TOP]


Not planned

Context example:

an unexpected pregnancy


unplanned (without apparent forethought or prompting or planning)

Sense 4unexpected [BACK TO TOP]


Happening or coming quickly and without warning


unforeseen; unexpected

Context example:

a sudden unexpected development


sudden (happening without warning or in a short space of time)

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 UNEXPECTED: related words searches 

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