Use the adjective unexpected to describe something that takes you by surprise. An unexpected knock on your front door might make you jump.

When you don't anticipate something, and have no clue that it's coming, you can call it unexpected. A successful surprise party is always unexpected, and an unexpected visitor can be exciting or inconvenient, depending on who it is. If you expect an event, you know it's going to occur, but if it's unexpected, it seems to come from nowhere. The Latin root is expectare, "await, look out for, desire, or hope."

Definitions of unexpected

adj not expected or anticipated

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
used of an unexpected defeat of a team favored to win
causing surprise or wonder or amazement
considered likely or probable to happen or arrive
anticipated, awaited, hoped-for
expected hopefully
scheduled to arrive
to be expected
expected or depended upon as a natural or logical outcome
not causing surprise
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