Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adv. By surprise; unexpectedly: "Sorrow comes to all, and to the young it comes with bittered agony because it takes them unawares” ( Abraham Lincoln).
  • adv. Without forethought or plan. See Usage Note at unaware.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adv. unexpectedly or by surprise
  • adv. inadvertently
  • adv. without plan or forethought

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. Without design or preparation; suddenly; without premeditation, unexpectedly.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • While the person is unaware; unexpectedly; without previous knowledge or preparation; suddenly.
  • Without premeditated design; inadvertently.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adv. at a disadvantage
  • adv. suddenly and unexpectedly
  • adv. without forethought or plan; inadvertently

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • Using cameras to observe students unawares is definitely unethical and probably illegal, though we may have to wait for a court to decide that.

    What Kids should Know About That School Computer « Steve Wildstrom on Tech

  • When she had made an end of combing it, she plaited my tresses, and my beauty and loveliness charmed her; so she bent over me and kissed my cheek. 334 At that moment he came in unawares, and, seeing the girl kiss my cheek, straightways turned away in anger, vowing eternal-separation and repeating these two couplets,

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Such a record as his, such a look in the eyes, the expression unawares of a life of sustained effort -- always in one direction "--

    A Touch of Sun and Other Stories

  • As I sordidly explained last night in terms which may possibly commend themselves to some of the less elevated members of the community who may have crept among you unawares, that is a form of recognition that I value the more because, when Germany passes back from delirium to sanity, they will have to buy another set!

    The Past and the Present

  • But what caught her unawares was the horrid thing that by this fact of sudden, unexpected waking she had surprised these other things in the room, beside the very bed, gathered close about him while he slept.

    The Man Whom the Trees Loved

  • By God, he had pitched upon the right word unawares, and I let him know it in the end!

    Raffles: Further Adventures of the Amateur Cracksman

  • None rested quiet or mute for a second, except the one who kept close as his shadow to her father's side, and unwittingly was treated by him less like the other children, than like some stray spirit of another world, caught and held jealously, but without much outward notice, lest haply it might take alarm, and vanish back again unawares.

    John Halifax, Gentleman

  • I was thinking the other day that certainly and after all (or rather before all) I had loved you all my life unawares, that is, the idea of you.

    The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett

  • _I_ was thinking the other day that certainly and after all (or rather before all) I had loved you all my life unawares, that is, the idea of you.

    The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, Vol. 1 (of 2) 1845-1846

  • Former New National Party Western Cape premier and Cape Town mayor Peter Marais told the Cape High Court on Monday that he was caught "unawares" during a radio interview when asked by the plaintiff about sexual harassment allegations against him.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

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