One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Done in full awareness or consciousness; deliberate.‘the witting and unwitting complicity of the institutions’
- ‘The top bankers and their top legal firms are all part of a very deliberate and witting money laundering apparatus.’
- ‘We want witting, not unwitting, understanding.’
- ‘Both films feature a friend who helps eliminate the protagonist's problems via murder, and, in the process, gains the witting or unwitting complicity of the hero.’
- ‘As reported on our front page, Bulgaria plans to tighten up controls to prevent the violations, witting and unwitting, which have followed its acceptance by the Schengen family.’
- ‘Whether this is a witting or an unwitting acting choice, or a thematic directorial decision to make us see that Kate is only playing ‘The Shrew,’ it throws the entire play off balance.’
- 1.1 (of a person) conscious or aware of the full facts of a situation.‘a witting accomplice’
- ‘As in the Democracy, the coming of equality and the death of his own class exist as providential forces, of which monarchs are both the witting and unwitting agents.’
- ‘Now and then a few people, witting or unwitting postmodernists, who think that social constructs trump the laws of physics, are mowed down by logging trucks.’
- ‘Nowadays many would prefer to forget it, lest its memory serve as a reproach against those who were witting or unwitting apologists for appeasement.’
- ‘Could there have been any other witting leaders?’
- ‘I have heard the number ‘150,’ but we should think in terms of much larger numbers, including the additional witting and unwitting accomplices aiding and abetting the enemy.’
- ‘The government never explains why it is precisely those who oppose the government's policies from the left who represent witting or unwitting allies of terrorism.’
Late Middle English: from wit + -ing.
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