Definition of be not to know in English:

be not to know


  • Have no way of being aware of.

    ‘you weren't to know he was about to die’
    • ‘He was not to know it at the time, but the petro-chemical industry was to be his future.’
    • ‘In both cases the guns were not real, and not intended for criminal use, but the officers were not to know that.’
    • ‘Although the public was not to know it until later, the invasion was due to take place on June 5 but just as with any other event in Britain the weather played a part.’
    • ‘However, the British were not to know just how weak he was.’
    • ‘She was not to know what leaving would do to my father.’
    • ‘They were not to know that two years later, a similar fate would be visited upon them.’
    • ‘As things transpired they wouldn't have made it to the last eight even had they beaten Donegal but they were not to know it at the time.’
    • ‘They were not to know that Friday would bring another day of dramatic action.’
    • ‘Mr Newton was not to know that the builder on his doorstep had a string of convictions for deception and misleading customers.’
    • ‘In fact the seals and signature were forgeries, but Mr Catt was not to know that for many months.’