un·wit·ting | \ˌən-ˈwi-tiŋ \

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 \ 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

Anne Hathaway ably fights off the Hatha-haters as Daphne Kluger, a dingbat movie star used by Debbie and Lou as an unwitting eighth member of the crew; in a movie where everyone keeps it close to the vest, Hathaway knows to play it brassy and big. Ty Burr, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Ocean’s 8’ is a different take on the bling ring," 6 June 2018 These compensations were often unwitting but effective. Gretchen Reynolds, New York Times, "Exercise May Aid in Weight Loss. Provided You Do Enough.," 4 July 2018 These agencies, in turn, viewed Mr. Trump as a witting or unwitting Kremlin agent. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Why the CIA Needs Its Own Horowitz Report," 29 June 2018 And the fact that Facebook enabled users to give away their friends’ data as well meant that the data leak swept up millions of unwitting users. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Cambridge Analytica died because it couldn’t stop playing the victim," 3 May 2018 The opaque and lugubrious language of the law is an unwitting accomplice in all this, the serpentine connections between precedents and statutes and sub-definitions shoving everything into abstractions. Rafia Zakaria, The New Republic, "On Sending Women Home to Die," 18 June 2018 The fraudsters pose as royalty in hopes of obtaining unwitting users' bank account information and are often regarded as more of a joke than a legitimate threat. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Mark Sanford’s primary loss shows the peril of crossing Trump," 13 June 2018 Some of these bots actually use real people’s likenesses (without their knowledge) and are employed to sway opinions, impact someone’s influence online, and scam unwitting users. Madeline Buxton, refinery29.com, "Should You Worry About The Fake Accounts Following You?," 17 May 2018 Agents determined that Dais hacked numerous Facebook accounts from unwitting victims and changed the profile picture, friends list and display name, the affidavit said. John Diedrich, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Cudahy mother charged in terrorism plot to use Facebook to promote ISIS, FBI says," 13 June 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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Phrases Related to unwitting

wittingly or unwittingly

Statistics for unwitting

Last Updated

6 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for unwitting

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

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English Language Learners Definition of unwitting

: not aware of what is really happening

: not intended or planned

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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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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