un·​wit·​ting | \ ˌən-ˈwi-tiŋ How to pronounce unwitting (audio) \

Definition of unwitting

1 : not knowing : unaware kept the truth from their unwitting friends
2 : not intended : inadvertent an unwitting mistake

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Other Words from unwitting

unwittingly \ ˌən-​ˈwi-​tiŋ-​lē How to pronounce unwittingly (audio) \ adverb

Examples of unwitting in a Sentence

He kept the truth from his unwitting friends. an unwitting victim of fraud

Recent Examples on the Web

What’s worse, Russia found unwitting Americans to serve as assets who helped spread the IRA’s propaganda. Alex Ward, Vox, "4 main takeaways from new reports on Russia’s 2016 election interference," 17 Dec. 2018 Nevertheless, her pristine beauty can turn the viewer into an unwitting voyeur. Tom L. Freudenheim, WSJ, "A Portrait Both Sensible and Sensual," 11 Jan. 2019 To be fair, Bush had some unwitting help from Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet leader. Josef Joffe, WSJ, "George Bush Led the Biggest Diplomatic Triumph Since Jefferson," 3 Dec. 2018 The two-hour event allowed the attackers to steal about $150,000 in digital coins as unwitting people were routed to a fake MyEtherWallet.com site rather than the authentic wallet service that got called normally. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Strange snafu misroutes domestic US Internet traffic through China Telecom," 6 Nov. 2018 Officials say that as the operation progressed, the suspects also engaged in extensive online conversations with Americans who became unwitting tools of the Russian efforts. Devlin Barrett, Washington Post, "Mueller signals outside prosecutors may eventually take over Russian trolls case," 22 June 2018 Harvey Weinstein built his complicity machine out of the witting, the unwitting and those in between. Carina Chocano, New York Times, "Behind Every Villain Stands Someone ‘Complicit’," 17 Jan. 2018 Because the nature of the hostile foreign nation is well known, counterintelligence investigations tend to be centered on individuals the FBI suspects to be witting or unwitting agents of that foreign power. Megan Friedman, Marie Claire, "Read Former FBI Director James Comey's Full Remarks for His Senate Hearing Tomorrow," 7 June 2017 Kyle Mulinder was the unwitting victim of the seal's crime. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Seal Whips Oblivious Kayaker With Octopus And Promptly Swims Away," 27 Sep. 2018

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for unwitting

Last Updated

24 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for unwitting

The first known use of unwitting was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for unwitting



English Language Learners Definition of unwitting

: not aware of what is really happening
: not intended or planned

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More from Merriam-Webster on unwitting

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unwitting

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unwitting

Spanish Central: Translation of unwitting

Nglish: Translation of unwitting for Spanish Speakers

Comments on unwitting

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


to corrupt or become corrupted

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