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See more synonyms for unwritten on Thesaurus.com
  1. not actually formulated or expressed; customary; traditional.
  2. not written; not put in writing or print; oral: an unwritten agreement.
  3. containing no writing; blank.
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Origin of unwritten

1325–75; Middle English unwriten; see un-1, written


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1. implicit, understood, tacit, inferred.


1. specified, stipulated, designated.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for unwritten

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It was part of a code no less binding because it was unwritten.

  • Among the unwritten chapters is one which touches a problem.

    Lotus Buds

    Amy Carmichael

  • Can you then assert (asked Socrates) of these unwritten laws that men made them?

  • The Silvio Pellicos of Pentonville are yet unwritten martyrs.

    A Day's Ride

    Charles James Lever

  • An unwritten law of the West he broke by letting the snake go.

    Rim o' the World

    B. M. Bower

British Dictionary definitions for unwritten


  1. not printed or in writing
  2. effective only through custom; traditional
  3. without writing upon it
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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 unwritten


mid-14c., from un- (1) "not" + past participle of write (v.). Cf. Old English unwriten, Old Norse uritinn.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper