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[heed] /hid/
verb (used with object)
to give careful attention to:
He did not heed the warning.
verb (used without object)
to give attention; have regard.
careful attention; notice; observation (usually with give or take).
Origin of heed
before 900; Middle English heden, Old English hēdan; cognate with German hüten to guard, protect; akin to hood1
Related forms
heeder, noun
unheeded, adjective
unheededly, adverb
unheeding, adjective
unheedingly, adverb
1. note, observe, consider, mark. 3. consideration, care; caution, vigilance, watchfulness.
1. disregard, ignore. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for unheeded
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Little Mr. Brown, having been busy as he chattered, unheeded by her!

  • He never moved from his one position on the floor; and the hours flew by unheeded.

    A Prisoner of Morro Upton Sinclair
  • So busy was her brain that time flew by unheeded, and she started to hear the clock striking one.

  • Count Tristan wrote and urged him to return home; but the summons was unheeded.

    Fairy Fingers Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie
  • Sometimes he was present unheeded at conversations between the sisters.

    The Man Who Laughs Victor Hugo
  • They seized the example, but the admonition passed by unheeded.

  • We must even now beware and listen to the wise warning of Bankim—a warning all too unheeded when it was first uttered.

    Chitta Ranjan Sukumar Ranjan Das
  • At this crisis I once more interfered, but my remonstrance was unheeded.

    The Quadroon Mayne Reid
  • On his bald head, unheeded, the gushing tears of shame accumulated in pools.

British Dictionary definitions for unheeded


noticed or heard but disregarded


close and careful attention; notice (often in the phrases give, pay, or take heed)
to pay close attention to (someone or something)
Derived Forms
heeder, noun
heedful, adjective
heedfully, adverb
heedfulness, noun
Word Origin
Old English hēdan; related to Old Saxon hōdian, Old High German huoten
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 unheeded

1610s, from un- (1) "not" + past participle of heed.



Old English hedan "to heed, observe; to take care, attend," from West Germanic *hodjan (cf. Old Saxon hodian, Old Frisian hoda, Middle Dutch and Dutch hoeden, Old High German huotan, German hüten "to guard, watch"), from PIE *kadh- "to shelter, cover" (see hat). Related: Heeded; heeding.


"attention, notice, regard," early 14c., apparently from heed (v.). Survives only in literal use and as the object of verbs (take heed, etc.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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