Definition of unattested in English:



  • 1Not existing in any documented form.

    ‘if a will contains unattested changes, the changes will be disregarded’
    ‘although large masonry instruments were not unattested in the world, they were constructed infrequently’
    • ‘To the east, at Corbridge, a prefect recorded slaughtering a band of ‘Corionotatae’, but whether these were members of an unattested tribe or a band of brigands, is uncertain.’
    • ‘Needless to say, this is totally unattested as a practice in any ancient source and none of the relevant tools (magnifying glasses and diamond microcutters) have been recovered, or ever heard of from ancient times.’
    • ‘It is clear that the events of May 1968 continue to comprise an unattested or anonymous promise.’
    • ‘Furthermore, some have falsely taken evidence of change in the 2nd and 3rd centuries as a ‘guilt by association’ validation of unattested changes in the 1st.’
    • ‘Note that those like Mack, who can be awarded respect for their hypotheses of documents otherwise unattested, are not at an advantage over our thesis.’
    • ‘We cannot rule out the possibility that another large, centrally located temenos of Apollo at Corinth, otherwise unattested in literary sources, has eluded the excavators of Corinth for more than a century.’
    • ‘We have also discovered a previously unattested episode of early Christian burial on the summit, as well as the first examples on the hill of waterlogged bone and other organic remains.’
    • ‘This bespeaks a congruence that belies the alleged dichotomy, which Gerdmar again finds unattested in specific underlying data.’
    1. 1.1Linguistics Denoting a form or usage or pronunciation of a word for which there is no evidence.
      ‘logically possible but unattested word-formation’
      • ‘The term used here to describe the bronze is na-wi-jo, the adjectival form of the unattested noun * na-wo (literally ‘place of dwelling’ = later Greek naos, canonically translated as ‘temple’).’
      • ‘On the other hand, we've learned how to reconstruct unattested proto-languages from their attested descendants and how to work out the family tree of related languages.’
      • ‘Not only did he use an otherwise unattested form of address for God, but as an individual he addressed God with a term that connoted familial intimacy.’