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[uhn-uh-wairz] /ˌʌn əˈwɛərz/
while not aware or conscious of a thing oneself; unknowingly or inadvertently.
without warning; by surprise; suddenly; unexpectedly:
to come upon someone unawares.
Origin of unawares
First recorded in 1525-35; unaware + -s1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for unawares
Historical Examples
  • At least, Yates, with all his experience, thought he had taken her unawares.

  • Blessings, then, upon these young wayfarers, for they have "blessed me unawares."

  • "It was an unexpected blow; it caught me unawares," he said heatedly.

    Slaves of Mercury Nat Schachner
  • I had unawares added to her grief, for her brother Charley was going to Switzerland too.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede George MacDonald
  • You will take them unawares; but I flatter myself you will not find them unprepared.

  • However, I catch him unawares occasionally, and this is a snap I took last summer.

    Mary-'Gusta Joseph C. Lincoln
  • It's rather a fool-scheme, if you ask me, but it might have been a nuisance if it had been sprung on us unawares.

    The Market-Place Harold Frederic
  • It dropped from him unawares, and I was on the terrace and caught the words.'

    Lord Kilgobbin Charles Lever
  • It had come upon him so unawares that he felt he had not kept it out of his voice.

    Under Western Eyes Joseph Conrad
  • They were but few; for the Greek troops had come on them unawares; 11.

British Dictionary definitions for unawares


without prior warning or plan; unexpectedly: she caught him unawares
without being aware of or knowing: he lost it unawares
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for unawares

1530s, "without being aware," from un- (1) "not" + aware + adverbial genitive -s. Meaning "without being noticed" is recorded from 1660s. Form unaware is recorded from 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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