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[uhn-bid-n] /ʌnˈbɪd n/
not ordered or commanded; spontaneous.
not asked or summoned; uninvited.
Sometimes, unbid.
Origin of unbidden
before 1050; Middle English unbiden, Old English unbēden. See un-1, bidden Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for unbidden
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And how came you unbidden into my private cabinet, Don Felipe?

    Sir Henry Morgan, Buccaneer Cyrus Townsend Brady
  • As unbidden guests are apt to do, they often come at inconvenient times.

    The Mirror of the Sea Joseph Conrad
  • You are here under my roof an unexpected and unbidden guest.

  • In the experience of that vision strength and peace will come to us unbidden.

    The Untroubled Mind Herbert J. Hall
  • But the hawks themselves were more interesting than their unbidden guests.

    Wood Folk at School William J. Long
  • But outraged nature had prevailed, and sleep had come unbeckoned, unbidden.

    The Yellow Claw Sax Rohmer
  • "I am the Marchioness Caldariva," announced the unbidden guest.

    Manasseh Maurus Jokai
  • Again a constraint enfolded, fastened upon us by an unbidden guest.

    Desert Dust Edwin L. Sabin
  • I will not perjure myself at his bidding; but being with him, I will kneel to him unbidden.

    Privy Seal Ford Madox Ford
British Dictionary definitions for unbidden


not ordered or commanded; voluntary or spontaneous
not invited or asked
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 unbidden

Old English unbedene, "not asked or invited," from un- (1) "not" + bidden. Cf. Middle Dutch ongebeden, German ungebeten, Old Norse ubeðinn.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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