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Word of the Day: Unprecedented

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By Danna Martinez

We have all heard the expression “unprecedented.” It’s considered a common word, and it is used in multiple areas of daily life. The term “unprecedented” shows that a referring event is a real novelty because something similar has never happened.

  • The first known use of unprecedented recorded in 1615–25. According to the Dictionary website, the first use of this word appears in a 1641 speech by John Finch, Speaker of the House of Commons, and the second recorded use was made by King Charles himself in 1642 in his reply to Parliament. It is not until the following year that we find the first printed instance of this word spelled correctly, with a “ce.”
  • Vocabulary website describes the word precedent as “a noun referring to something done or said that is used as an example to be followed in the future. In law, a precedent is a legal decision that is used as a standard in future cases. So the adjective unprecedented, meaning “having no precedent,” was formed from the prefix un- “not,” the noun precedent, and the suffix-ed “having.”

This word’s pronunciation may be difficult for a person to reproduce, especially if English is not the native language. It resembles something like “uhn-preh-suh-den-tuhd.”

However, here are some synonyms of this expression that could replace it:

  • unheard
  • unpublished
  • unusual
  • exceptional
  • singular
  • unusual
  • original
  • outstanding
  • unheard-of
  • anomalous
  • freakish
  • incomparable
  • prodigious
  • striking

And some sentences in which the expression “unprecedented” has been used:

  • Empowering brands to Automate Conversations at an Unprecedented Pace.
  • …or personalized medicine, offer unprecedented opportunities for life sciences.
  • Demonstrating Use of Artificial Intelligence to Generate Unprecedented Diversity of AAV Capsids and Broaden Reach of Gene Therapies.
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