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From Middle English unwittinge, unwitand, from Old English unwitende (unwitting; not knowing; unaware; unconscious), from Proto-Germanic *unwitandz (not knowing), equivalent to un- +‎ witting. Cognate with West Frisian ûnwittend, Dutch onwetend, German Low German unwetend, German unwissend and unwissentlich, Icelandic óvitandi.



unwitting (comparative more unwitting, superlative most unwitting)

  1. unaware or uninformed; oblivious
    Synonyms: clueless, ignorant; see also Thesaurus:ignorant
    Antonyms: aware, cognizant
    • 2017, BioWare, Mass Effect: Andromeda (Science Fiction), Redwood City: Electronic Arts, →OCLC, PC, scene: Location of Experiment:
      We've located the perfect site for experimentation on live test subjects. Kadara's "badlands" offer unsupervised access to unwitting test subjects free from any lawful or ethical constraints.
  2. unintentional
    • (transl.) 4th century BC, Plato, Sophist, 230a
      Some people, apparently, have thought about it and reached the conclusion that every case of being misinformed is unwitting.
    • 1963 May, “News and Comment: Derailment at Bethnal Green”, in Modern Railways, page 299:
      Persistent but unwitting excessive speed over a sharply curved turnout forming part of a double junction, which resulted in slight track distortion, was the primary cause of the derailment of an electric m.u. at Bethnal Green on Saturday, June 17 last.
    Synonyms: inadvertent, unintended; see also Thesaurus:unintentional
    Antonym: deliberate

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