un·​awares | \ ˌən-ə-ˈwerz How to pronounce unawares (audio) \

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 China was caught unawares by a disease that was evidently spreading for a month or more in Wuhan before anyone noticed; the country’s frantic learning now is helping save the lives everywhere of the sickest cases. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "A Corona-Sanders Panic Ebbs?," 3 Mar. 2020 His figures are fully animated, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny and often, when captured unawares, deeply moving in their private reveries. Washington Post, "Even a year’s worth of Hokusai may not be enough to display his genius," 22 Jan. 2020 On the other hand, Newcastle don't have a shortlist of managers prepared at all say the Times, with Benitez's impending departure catching them unawares, despite, y'know, being quite a while coming and very, very obvious. SI.com, "Rafa to China, Shearer's Reaction & New Manager Latest: Newcastle News Roundup," 25 June 2019 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

Time Traveler

The first known use of unawares was in 1530

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Cite this Entry

“Unawares.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unawares. Accessed 19 Sep. 2020.

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How to pronounce unawares (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of unawares

: without warning


un·​awares | \ ˌən-ə-ˈwerz How to pronounce unawares (audio) \

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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Nglish: Translation of unawares for Spanish Speakers

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