not seen; unperceived; unobserved; invisible.
recognized or comprehended without prior study, as a written text or musical score.

Origin of unseen

1150–1200; Middle English unsene, unsehene; see un-1, seen
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unseen

Contemporary Examples of unseen

Historical Examples of unseen

  • The faith that others give to what is unseen, I give to what one can touch, and look at.

    De Profundis

    Oscar Wilde

  • Though it faced directly toward them, the men knew that they were as yet unseen.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • There was a stir on the island, while we were in the water, but we all got ashore, safe and unseen.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • Then the day slipped over an unseen height, and fell into a sheltered calm.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • But the warning voice from that unseen bridge disconcerted her.

    Pee-wee Harris

    Percy Keese Fitzhugh

British Dictionary definitions for unseen



not observed or perceived; invisible
(of passages of writing) not previously seen or prepared


mainly British a passage, not previously seen, that is presented to students for translation
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 unseen

early 13c., from un- (1) "not" + seen. Cf. Old English ungesewen, Middle Dutch ongesien, Dutch ongezien, Old High German ungesëhan, German ungesehen, Old Norse usenn.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with unseen


see sight unseen.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.