I kept searching for an English word whose definition I remember, but not the specific term. I have searched but cannot not find it. This is the definition:

an event, usually an unpleasant one, that might or might not happen in the future

Could you give me some hints?

  • Please, correct the spelling of "unplesant" in your title. Come to think of it, that is how the word ought to be spelled/spelt, but I find the misspelling, unpleAsant to read :)
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Dec 26, 2013 at 6:13

2 Answers 2


How about the word 'contingency'. Here's the second of two senses listed on Merriam-Webster's online dictionary:

a.) An event (as an emergency) that may, but is not certain to occur

b.) Something liable to happen as an adjunct to or a result of something else

To be honest, I'm not familiar with sub-sense 'b', and while M-W seems to specify possible (but not certain) emergencies, I've found myself using 'contingency' to refer to minor hiccups and set-backs.

Also, note that 'contingency' also refers to provisions made to address such (possible but not certain) events. Strangely, that sense is not mentioned on M-W, but is listed in the Oxford Dictionary (10th edition; page 307).


Presentiment An intuitive feeling about the future, esp. one of foreboding And An emotional response that can only be described as precognitive, such as a feeling of dread before an impending disaster.

Words with similar meanings: boding, foreboding, premonition, presage

  • Wow, these are excellent suggestions. I hadn't even thought of these. A very comprehensive answer. Commented Dec 25, 2013 at 18:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.