[ 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unawares

British Dictionary definitions for unawares


/ (ˌʌnəˈwɛəz) /


without prior warning or plan; unexpectedlyshe caught him unawares
without being aware of or knowinghe 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

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