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unwitting +‎ -ly.



unwittingly (comparative more unwittingly, superlative most unwittingly)

  1. In an unwitting manner; inadvertently, obliviously, unintentionally, unknowingly.
    Antonyms: advertently, consciously, deliberately, knowingly, intentionally, purposely
    She realized to her horror that she had unwittingly helped those people she most despised.
    • 1613, William Shakespeare; [John Fletcher], “The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene ii], page 220, column 2:
      This morning, / Paprs of State he ſent me, to peruſe / As I required: and wot you what I found / There (on my Conſcience put vnwittingly) []
    • 1666, John Bunyan, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners: [], London: Printed by George Larkin, OCLC 270767708; republished as Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners in a Faithful Account of the Life and Death of John Bunyan: [], London: The Religious Tract Society, [], [1905], OCLC 1126943, paragraphs 218–219, page 123:
      [O]nly now it remained that I inquire whether I have right to enter the city of refuge: so I found, that he must not, who lay in wait to shed blood: It was not the wilful murderer, but he who unwittingly did it, he who did it unawares; not out of spite, or grudge, or malice, he that shed it unwittingly: even he who did not hate his neighbour before. Wherefore, [] I thought verily I was the man that must enter, because I had smitten my neighbour unwittingly, and hated Him not aforetime.
    • 1697, John Hale, “The Preface”, in A Modest Enquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft, [], Boston, Mass.: Printed by B[artholomew] Green, and J[ohn] Allen, for Benjamin Eliot [], published 1702, OCLC 1033497484, page 11; reprinted in “Memoir of the Rev. John Hale”, in Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, volume VII (Third Series), Boston, Mass.: Charles C[offin] Little and James Brown, 1838, OCLC 45881395, page 264:
      I have had a deep sense of the sad consequences of mistakes, in things capital; and their impossibility of recovering when compleated; and what grief of heart it brings to a tender conscience, to have been unwittingly encouraging of the sufferings of the innocent.
    • 1955 June 27, Gordon H[arry] Scherer, questioner, “Testimony of Mrs. Anita Bell Schneider”, in Investigation of Communist Activities in the Los Angeles, Calif., Area—Part 1: Hearings before the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-fourth Congress, First Session, June 27 and 28, 1955:  [], Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, OCLC 853186366, page 1507:
      Of course those ministers who did support this did so unwittingly in most instances, did they not? By unwittingly I mean not knowing that the whole program was controlled and dominated and instigated by the Communist Party.
    • 2017 September 27, David Browne, “Hugh Hefner, ‘Playboy’ Founder, Dead at 91: Legendary Magazine Editor Helped Spark the Sexual Revolution”, in Rolling Stone[1], archived from the original on 15 March 2018:
      In the fall of 2016, [Hugh] Hefner was the subject of rumors about his health. As per his wishes, he was to be buried in a crypt next to that of Marilyn Monroe, who'd unwittingly helped launch Playboy into the multi-million-dollar business it became.

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