Irregular vs Unexpected - What's the difference?

irregular | unexpected | Synonyms |

Irregular is a synonym of unexpected.

As adjectives the difference between irregular and unexpected

is that irregular is irregular while unexpected is not expected, anticipated or foreseen.



(en adjective)
  • Nonstandard; not conforming to rules or expectations.
  • * {{quote-book
  • , year = 1967 , first = Barbara , last = Sleigh , authorlink = Barbara Sleigh , title = (Jessamy) , edition = 1993 , location = Sevenoaks, Kent , publisher=Bloomsbury , isbn = 0 340 19547 9 , page = 33 , url = , passage = ‘ “It would be most irregular' Grandpa!” says Miss Cecily frowning and tapping her foot. “Well, we’re a pretty ' irregular family so that’s neither here nor there,” says the old man, impish like. [...] ’ }}
  • Of a surface, rough.
  • Without symmetry, regularity, or uniformity.
  • *{{quote-book, year=1944, author=(w)
  • , title= The Three Corpse Trick, chapter=5 , passage=The hovel stood in the centre of what had once been a vegetable garden, but was now a patch of rank weeds. Surrounding this, almost like a zareba, was an irregular ring of gorse and brambles, an unclaimed vestige of the original common.}}
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-01-01, author=Paul Bartel, Ashli Moore
  • , volume=101, issue=1, page=47–48, magazine=(American Scientist) , title= Avian Migration: The Ultimate Red-Eye Flight , passage=Many of these classic methods are still used, with some modern improvements. For example, with the aid of special microphones and automated sound detection software, ornithologists recently reported […] that pine siskins (Spinus pinus ) undergo an irregular , nomadic type of nocturnal migration.}}
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-07-19, author= Ian Sample
  • , volume=189, issue=6, page=34, magazine=(The Guardian Weekly) , title= Irregular bedtimes may affect children's brains , passage=Irregular bedtimes may disrupt healthy brain development in young children, according to a study of intelligence and sleeping habits.  ¶ Going to bed at a different time each night affected girls more than boys, but both fared worse on mental tasks than children who had a set bedtime, researchers found.}}
  • Not regular; having sides that are not equal or angles that are not equal.
  • Whose faces are not all regular polygons (or are not equally inclined to each other).
  • Antonyms

    * regular

    Derived terms

    * irregular plural * irregular verb


    (en noun)
  • A soldier who is not a member of an official military force and, often, does not follow regular army tactics.
  • unexpected



    (en adjective)
  • Not expected, anticipated or foreseen.
  • * , title=The Mirror and the Lamp
  • , chapter=2 citation , passage=She was a fat, round little woman, richly apparelled in velvet and lace, […]; and the way she laughed, cackling like a hen, the way she talked to the waiters and the maid, […]—all these unexpected phenomena impelled one to hysterical mirth, and made one class her with such immortally ludicrous types as Ally Sloper, the Widow Twankey, or Miss Moucher.}}
  • *
  • The windmill presented unexpected difficulties.


    * See


    * expected

    Derived terms

    * unexpectedly * unexpectedness