Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

unknown quantity

Definition of unknown quantity

  1. :  someone or something whose abilities or characteristics are not yet known <If you've never been published before, you're an unknown quantity, so you're going to have difficulty selling your first novel.>



Word by Word Definitions

unknownplay
  1. :  not known or not well-known

    :  having an unknown value

  1. :  one that is not known or not well-known

    :  a person who is little known (as to the public)

    :  something that requires discovery, identification, or clarification: as

quantityplay
  1. :  an indefinite amount or number

    :  a determinate or estimated amount

    :  total amount or number


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up unknown quantity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).