Definition of unknowing in US English:



  • Not knowing or aware.

    ‘the lions moved stealthily toward their unknowing victims’
    • ‘Unfortunately, it is difficult to know exactly how widespread the problem is because many infected bottles are consumed by unknowing drinkers who blame the off taste on the wine itself.’
    • ‘The goal is to cause the unknowing victim to lose his teeth as if the result of natural causes.’
    • ‘To the unknowing bystander it must have looked as if we were 3 youths who had robbed the car and were on a malicious ‘joyride’ around town bent on defacing it as if we were in a Demolition Derby.’
    • ‘A problem that any composition teacher will be aware of is unknowing imitation.’
    • ‘Here we have the heart of the fallacy, or rather an unknowing dissection of the fallacy by one of its authors.’
    • ‘Some of the most successful moments of the project therefore were the spontaneous reactions and participation from the unknowing public, and the happenings that characterise this particular city block.’
    • ‘To the unknowing wanderer, the setup could easily pass as a record store, complete with listening stations, loads of records, CDs and merchandise.’
    • ‘May I commend you brother, for the unspeakable truths you have revealed to the average unknowing Canadian.’
    • ‘Faced with this depressing reality, a resentment is born and carefully nourished against the unknowing spouse for his failure to make frequent declarations of his appreciation and regard.’
    • ‘Others ask whether it is not already happening again, before our unknowing eyes because we do not yet know the right questions to ask.’
    • ‘And at the same time it doesn't tell us much about Herb Alpert except that his Tijuana Brass were the kind of slick studio boys who could play behind anything - even in their virtual, unknowing sleep!’
    • ‘The play concerns the unknowing inheritance of a fatal sexually transmitted disease by the artist son of an outwardly respectable father, who has died by the time the play begins.’
    • ‘When he first went to Munster he was considered a journeyman by unknowing supporters, but he has become infinitely more than that.’
    • ‘At the centre of the plot is Rosalind who, dressed as a young man, teaches her unknowing suitor Orlando the surest way to win a woman's heart.’
    • ‘Pursued across the continent by her domineering mother and agent, she hitches a ride with an unknowing gang of holidaymakers.’
    • ‘But the tactic can expose individuals who may be unknowing accomplices, as an Irish woman discovered 15 years ago.’
    • ‘The thought of our two innocent, unknowing birds having their wings clipped and being put behind a high fence was disturbing.’
    • ‘For the unknowing reader, where is Chaco in comparison to Aztec in comparison to Paquimé?’
    • ‘Even worse for many family members is the feeling that they acted as unknowing accomplices to the U.S. government.’
    • ‘I don't think I look pregnant to the unknowing eye (like I've always had this little paunch), but to those who do know it's there, it's really there.’
    fortuitous, chance, occurring by accident, occurring by chance, adventitious, fluky, coincidental, casual, serendipitous, random, aleatory
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  • Lack of awareness or knowledge.

    • ‘As was the case with Socrates, philosophy has sought to peel itself away from sophism by admitting to its ignorance, as if unknowing were a pathos to be confessed.’
    • ‘Grace is gradually revealed in the midst of unknowing.’
    • ‘Situatedness promises knowledge but in practice leaves us in a cloud of unknowing about our place in the world.’
    • ‘It's a picture of all-knowing Newton, the defining scientific mind of world history, staring into the abyss of unknowing.’
    • ‘I don't know what we're going to do or when we're going to do it, but at least I'm not lost in what the Trunk called the ‘great cloud of unknowing.’’