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 unknowing (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 After all, the other couple had played an unknowing but crucial role in bringing David and Jackie together. CNN, 21 May 2021 Letters from the Cyrillic alphabet are substituted for those that are visually similar in the Latin alphabet to direct unknowing users to malicious websites. Rick Rouan, USA TODAY, 30 Apr. 2021 The court found that criminalizing unknowing, passive conduct violated due process protections. Gene Johnson, Star Tribune, 13 Apr. 2021 Tibbitts was not an unknowing participant in the trafficking operation, prosecutors claim. Washington Post, 2 Apr. 2021 The author thinks a lot about the forces and perspectives — personal, political and historical; conscious and unknowing — that shape us. Los Angeles Times, 23 Mar. 2021 In all those cases, troopers said, Taylor would allegedly have an unknowing third party order a ride-hail vehicle for him and then have the driver take him to the Massport parking lot where the first crime took place. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 3 Mar. 2021 Some digital lending apps have been accused of collecting data on location, call records, and text messages, many times from unknowing customers, to make financial decisions. Carlos Mureithi, Quartz Africa, 22 Feb. 2021 At the beginning of 2020, certain reality shows had turned isolation into entertainment in an unknowing foretaste of the immediate future. New York Times, 19 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The film follows one group of mothers on their annual brigade to scour the migrant trail in Mexico, and immerses us in the emotional reality of their search: a fog of unknowing. The New Yorker, 26 May 2021 And it’s about being stuck and being alone and floating in mystery, confusion, or unknowing. Wolfgang Ruth, Vulture, 21 Apr. 2021 Even with all the shock, disappointment and living with the constant unknowing of when his hospitality spaces would open, or be closed down again, Jesse feels pretty lucky considering what so many others have gone through. Cathrine Todd, Forbes, 4 Mar. 2021 Lee dates the dawning of the play to 1993, when Stoppard, in conversation with a visiting cousin, was informed—to his amazement, and to the cousin’s disbelief at his unknowing—that his roots were entirely Jewish. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 22 Feb. 2021 For this is a world in which all sense seems exhausted, and to him—to those listening to him—that quiet is loud with unknowing. Michael Gorra, The New York Review of Books, 17 Nov. 2020 Questioning with a hostile, aggressive or accusatory inflection may please and excite those who are alienated by or unknowing of religious life in America. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, 24 Sep. 2020 Decisions made and actions taken are always the product of human hesitation and unknowing. Star Tribune, 5 Aug. 2020 The Astros will now hit the road for the first time this season, hoping that the vengeance tour is over, but unknowing of what lies ahead. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, 30 July 2020

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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Statistics for unknowing

Last Updated

27 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unknowing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unknowing. Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for unknowing



English Language Learners Definition of unknowing

: not aware of what is really happening

More from Merriam-Webster on unknowing

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unknowing

Nglish: Translation of unknowing for Spanish Speakers


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