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

unwittingly, unintentionally, unknowingly, short, aback, accidentally, carelessly, inadvertently, mistakenly, sudden, unconsciously, unexpectedly, unprepared, abruptly, ignorantly, surprisingly, unready, habitually, abstractedly, automatically

Examples from the Web for unknowingly

Contemporary Examples of unknowingly

Historical Examples of unknowingly

  • She did her best, all unknowingly, bless her, to kill the last vestige of manhood in me.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • I did it unknowingly, by this man's contrivance; but not in any fear of him.

    The Adventures of Harry Revel

    Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

  • Unknowingly, mind you, for therein existed much of the secret of my power.

    Princess Zara

    Ross Beeckman

  • It was not inconceivable that she should have unknowingly fallen in love with an android.

    The Jupiter Weapon

    Charles Louis Fontenay

  • Unknowingly, he had ceased to be a man and had become a ferret.

British Dictionary definitions for unknowingly


  1. not knowing; ignorant
  2. (postpositive often foll by of) without knowledge or unaware (of)
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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 unknowingly



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper