• synonyms


See more synonyms for unknowing on Thesaurus.com
  1. ignorant or unaware: unknowing aid to the enemy.
Show More

Origin of unknowing

Middle English word dating back to 1250–1300; see origin at un-1, knowing
Related formsun·know·ing·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for unknowing

blind, unconscious, blank, deaf, ignorant, inattentive, negligent, oblivious, uneducated, unenlightened, uninformed, unschooled, uninstructed

Examples from the Web for unknowing

Contemporary Examples of unknowing

Historical Examples of unknowing

  • I hadn't returned it, after all; had been gripping it all the time, unknowing.

  • "Nowhere on earth, Esther," replied David, unknowing why he said so.

    An Old Woman's Tale

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • They were unknowing in the art of disguising their feelings.


    William Godwin

  • It was as though all unknowing I had heard a whisper or seen something.

    The Shadow-Line

    Joseph Conrad

  • But for thee I should have passed away, unknowing the glory of manhood.

British Dictionary definitions for unknowing


  1. not knowing; ignorant
  2. (postpositive often foll by of) without knowledge or unaware (of)
Show More
Derived Formsunknowingly, adverb
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 unknowing


c.1300, "without knowledge, ignorant," from un- (1) "not" + present participle of know (v.). Noun meaning "ignorance" is mid-14c. Related: Unknowingly.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper