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From un- +‎ wonted. Redundant in form, as wont is by itself historically the participle adjective. Largely replaced earlier (and more correct) unwont.


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Particularly: "UK"


unwonted (comparative more unwonted, superlative most unwonted)

  1. Not customary or habitual; unusual; infrequent; strange.
    • 1610, The Tempest, by Shakespeare, act 1 scene 2
      Be of comfort; / My father's of a better nature, sir, / Than he appears by speech: this is unwonted, / Which now came from him.
    • 1986, John le Carré, A Perfect Spy:
      And Rick with unwonted diffidence had accepted his exclusion. Now with the same diffidence he came, looking trim and loving and mysteriously humble.
    • 2003, Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything, Black Swan, pg.23:
      ...And ocean salinity, of course, represented only the merest sliver of my ignorance. I didn't know what a proton was, didn't know a quark from a quasar, didn't know how geologists could look at a layer of rock on a canyon wall and tell you how old it was, didn't know anything, really. I became gripped by a quiet, unwonted but insistent urge to know a little more about these matters and to understand above all how people figured them out.
    • 2008, Edna Lyall, To Right the Wrong:
      [...] enjoying in their quiet way the unwonted atmosphere of youth and happiness.
    • 2008, Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica:
      On the other hand, it was not so well known among them that Moses was always to be their ruler, and so it behooved those who rebelled against his authority to be punished in a miraculous and unwonted manner.
  2. (archaic) Unused (to); unaccustomed (to) something.

Derived terms[edit]