un·​awares | \ ˌən-ə-ˈwerz \

Definition of unawares

1 : without design, attention, preparation, or premeditation
2 : without warning : suddenly, unexpectedly

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Examples of unawares in a Sentence

the thunderstorm caught us unawares, and we scrambled to get off the ridge as lightning started to flash

Recent Examples on the Web

Sure enough, Trinity was caught unawares, and audiences everywhere were gagged. Stephen Daw, Billboard, "10 of the Best Reads in 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Herstory," 2 July 2018 Here Bluebaum is caught unawares and does not fully appreciate the dangers 3... Chris Chase, BostonGlobe.com, "Chess notes," 6 May 2018 The drivers were taken unawares when empty cans and bottles showered them and one driver jumped in his cab and departed. Nan Randall, The Atlantic, "'Charlottesville': A Government-Commissioned Story About Nuclear War," 25 Jan. 2018 Likewise, thousands of pedestrians walk unawares over dozens of old ships buried beneath the streets of the city’s financial district. Greg Miller, National Geographic, "New Map Reveals Ships Buried Below San Francisco," 2 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unawares.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of unawares

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for unawares

un- + aware + -s, adverb suffix, from Middle English, from -s, genitive singular ending of nouns — more at -s

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Time Traveler for unawares

The first known use of unawares was in 1530

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English Language Learners Definition of unawares

: without warning


un·​awares | \ ˌən-ə-ˈwerz \

Kids Definition of unawares

1 : without warning : by surprise “The danger is being caught unawares.”— Gail Carson Levine, Ella Enchanted
2 : without knowing : unintentionally I came upon them unawares.

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More from Merriam-Webster on unawares

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unawares

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unawares

Spanish Central: Translation of unawares

Nglish: Translation of unawares for Spanish Speakers

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