un·​know·​ing | \ ˌən-ˈnō-iŋ How to pronounce unknowing (audio) \

Definition of unknowing

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not knowing



Definition of unknowing (Entry 2 of 2)

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Other Words from unknowing


unknowingly \ ˌən-​ˈnō-​iŋ-​lē How to pronounce unknowingly (audio) \ adverb

Examples of unknowing in a Sentence

Adjective those unknowing people who think that the world is a kindly place are in for a rude awakening the poor woman has been the unknowing target of some pretty vicious gossip
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In case of a divorce, the spouse, not having given the other spouse notice, nor obtaining, in writing, an agreement, will be responsible for restitution to the unknowing spouse. Annie Lane, oregonlive, "Dear Annie: More thoughts on being called ‘Dear’," 1 July 2020 In a breaching experiment, a researcher might interact with unknowing members of the public in a way that breaks a particular social code—for example sitting down with strangers in a restaurant, or striking up a conversation in a public bathroom. Cassie Werber, Quartz at Work, "For perhaps the first time, millions are asking: Is my job essential?," 28 Apr. 2020 Those who appear perfectly healthy may be unknowing disease transmitters. Mark M. Smith, The Conversation, "Welcome to your sensory revolution, thanks to the pandemic," 27 Apr. 2020 The fact that partygoers did not know they had been exposed for multiple days allowed for unknowing transmission, according to Choi. Anna Sturla, CNN, "40 people in Connecticut exposed to coronavirus at a party, officials say," 25 Mar. 2020 Among the participants in these annual IRL rites of spring lurks unknowing spreaders of disease. Tasneem Alsultan, National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 23 Mar. 2020 And thus, the playoff format was tweaked, with divisional mini-series providing an unknowing prelude to the eventual Division Series format that arrived 14 years later. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "MLB's journey into the unknown: Here's how baseball's coronavirus-delayed season could play out," 12 Mar. 2020 The result was that thousands of unknowing carriers spread the viral plague while the government covered up its epidemic proportions. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "China’s Government Is Like Something out of 1984," 20 Feb. 2020 Except for when defending their young, winter is the time when moose often lose their patience and become aggravated with either unknowing or uncaring folks who approach too close, or stay in their space to long. Steve Meyer, Anchorage Daily News, "A long-awaited visit from whitetail ptarmigan leads to a moment captured forever," 26 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This may seem a contradiction, but that’s the point: that life can’t help but confound us, that what centers us, paradoxically, is our unknowing, that the line is always blurred between present and past. David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Patti Smith’s ‘Year of the Monkey’ blurs past and present," 26 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unknowing.' 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 unknowing


14th century, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for unknowing

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The first known use of unknowing was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

13 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unknowing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unknowing. Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for unknowing


How to pronounce unknowing (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of unknowing

: not aware of what is really happening

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More from Merriam-Webster on unknowing

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Spanish Central: Translation of unknowing

Nglish: Translation of unknowing for Spanish Speakers

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