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)

Keep scrolling for more

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 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, "Fact check: Hackers using visually similar characters to deceive in phishing schemes," 30 Apr. 2021 The court found that criminalizing unknowing, passive conduct violated due process protections. Gene Johnson, Star Tribune, "Washington state prisoners released after drug law is voided," 13 Apr. 2021 Tibbitts was not an unknowing participant in the trafficking operation, prosecutors claim. Washington Post, "Cocaine, a submarine and cash: CEO killed in plane crash was bankrolling drug empire, feds say," 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, "A debut novel about migration, family and survival is everything ‘American Dirt’ wasn’t," 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, "Dorchester resident, 18, arrested for ‘numerous’ alleged carjackings, State Police say," 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, "Kenya is preparing to crack down on a flood of high-interest loan apps," 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, "How Nothingness Became Everything We Wanted," 19 Jan. 2021 What arguably precipitated the dizzying spike that so frequently leaves unknowing patients with four-figure bills today was the Great Recession of 2008, which drained the coffers of local government as incomes plummeted and tax bases dried up. Natalie Shure, The New Republic, "Congress Doesn’t Care About Your Surprise Ambulance Bill," 22 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And it’s about being stuck and being alone and floating in mystery, confusion, or unknowing. Wolfgang Ruth, Vulture, "Okay, Let’s Talk About ARTPOP," 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, "A New Winery In Sonoma With A Stunning Hospitality Space Grapples With Covid," 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, "Tom Stoppard’s Charmed and Haunted Life," 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, "The Sense of an Ending," 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, "The Truth About People of Praise," 24 Sep. 2020 Decisions made and actions taken are always the product of human hesitation and unknowing. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: Response to riots, lawsuit over masks and voting," 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, "'We can move on and play baseball': Dodgers get vengeance in sweeping series vs. Astros," 30 July 2020 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.

See More

First Known Use of unknowing


14th century, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about unknowing

Time Traveler for unknowing

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for unknowing

Last Updated

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unknowing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unknowing. Accessed 10 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on unknowing

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!