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unwitting

[uhn-wit-ing]
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adjective
  1. inadvertent; unintentional; accidental: His insult, though unwitting, pained her.
  2. not knowing; unaware; ignorant; oblivious; unconscious: an unwitting person.
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Origin of unwitting

before 900; Middle English; Old English unwittende; see un-1, wit2, -ing2
Related formsun·wit·ting·ly, adverbun·wit·ting·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unwittingly

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It was this battle the progress of which I unwittingly watched.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • Cross never knew of the hopes and joys he had unwittingly crushed.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • No; but I would not for the world that you should unwittingly run any risks in this place.

    Roden's Corner

    Henry Seton Merriman

  • Could they have unwittingly wandered into a deserted pest-ship?

  • I remember one such elderly lady and the shock I unwittingly gave her.

    The Harbor

    Ernest Poole


British Dictionary definitions for unwittingly

unwitting

adjective (usually prenominal)
  1. not knowing or conscious
  2. not intentional; inadvertent
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Derived Formsunwittingly, adverbunwittingness, noun

Word Origin

Old English unwitende, from un- 1 + witting, present participle of witan to know; related to Old High German wizzan to know, Old Norse vita
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 unwittingly

unwitting

adj.

Old English unwitende, from un- (1) "not" + witting. Cf. Old High German unwizzanti, German unwissend, Old Norse uvitandi, Gothic unwitands. Rare after c.1600; revived c.1800.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper