Definition of unseen in English:



  • 1Not seen or noticed.

    ‘it seemed she might escape unseen’
    • ‘Finally, though, there's a special edition DVD coming out for the fans, with documentaries, unseen footage, and an alternate ending.’
    • ‘Everyone jumped in their seats as the veil was violently cast across the table by an unseen hand.’
    • ‘Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.’
    • ‘Fresh blood covered the face from unseen wounds.’
    • ‘Marines were fanning out in all directions, firing their weapons at unseen enemy troops that retreated from building to building as the troops advanced.’
    • ‘From those obscured depths, the bubbled exhalations from unseen divers stream up from portholes, heading past us for the sun.’
    • ‘And there was all that talk of war, war against an invisible enemy, an unseen speck on a parched landscape.’
    • ‘No matter where they are, they maintain a running conversation with their unseen audience, which can be as big as 20,000 visitors on a good day.’
    • ‘Several times, I tripped from an unseen root that was covered by white snow, but I quickly got up and continued on running.’
    • ‘They're plain and do nothing for my eyesight but whilst often unseen, it's small details that people can notice and it's all working to a disguise.’
    • ‘She was used to being unseen and unnoticed, not to people jumping around her as if she was royalty.’
    • ‘Derelict London is a strangely beautiful gallery of the obscure and unseen places in the great capital - one of the most original and talked about sites of 2004.’
    • ‘Mathematics tends to be invisible, unseen, yet we build our lives and our technology upon it.’
    • ‘He noticed me standing in the dark, practically unseen.’
    • ‘They are an unseen workforce, and their efforts probably go largely unnoticed by most people who enjoy a stroll in Manchester parks.’
    • ‘Instead, a massive and often unseen effort is going on to tackle the root causes of the problem behaviour and combat the disruption caused for teachers and well-behaved youngsters.’
    • ‘The inquiry into the soaring cost of the Scottish parliament seemed almost certain last night to request hundreds of hours of unseen video footage documenting the controversial project.’
    • ‘One man visiting the Bodie cemetery with his little girl noticed her giggling and apparently playing with an unseen entity.’
    • ‘The drama of small town life is mimed from start to finish: characters knock on unseen doors, and hide behind invisible walls.’
    • ‘She came to the center of the stage, saluted the unseen audience with folded hands, and began with gestures to describe a river, flowing from above her right shoulder to below her left hip.’
    hidden, concealed, obscured, camouflaged, unrevealed, out of sight, invisible, not visible, imperceptible, undetectable, unnoticeable, unnoticed, unobserved, covered, masked, shrouded, veiled
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Not foreseen or predicted.
      ‘unseen problems’
      • ‘He claimed increasing bureaucracy, such as inflexible laws governing working hours, could have as-yet unseen consequences for business and investment.’
      • ‘Still, any unseen problems with the exterior of the home can be covered by a contingency clause at sale.’
      • ‘All financial institutions offer payment protection on loans to cover any unseen loss in earning power.’
      • ‘Prices reflect what must be charged to cover the unseen costs of safety precautions.’
      • ‘But, following Finer's law of unexpected consequence, the site seems to be constructing its own narrative, with its own unseen implications.’
    2. 1.2British (of a passage for translation in a test or examination) not previously read or prepared.
      • ‘There will also be an unseen passage of Latin verse to be translated.’
      • ‘The examination will consist of both seen and unseen passages of both prose and poetry.’
      • ‘This paper will contain two seen and two unseen passages of classical Persian prose for translation into English.’


  • An unseen passage for translation.

    ‘Latin unseens’
    • ‘To use a dictionary in a translation paper is a different kind of test from the customary idea of unseens.’
    • ‘The volume concludes with a selection of unseens used in O-level papers.’
    • ‘Each group of ten unseens is preceded by a vocabulary of some thirty words.’