unknowable

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj unknowable not knowable "the unknowable mysteries of life"
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • unknowable Incapable of being known; not capable of being ascertained or discovered; above or beyond knowledge.
    • unknowable Unknown.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Unknowable un-nō′a-bl incapable of being known
    • n Unknowable that which cannot be known, the first or original cause: that which is cognisable only in its relations
    • ***

Quotations

  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Wise men are instructed in reason men of less understanding by experience; The most unknowing learn by necessity. Wise men do in the beginning what fools in the end.”
  • Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
    Johann%20Wolfgang%20Von%20Goethe
    “The highest happiness of man is to have probed what is knowable and quietly to revere what is unknowable.”
  • James Duffecy
    James Duffecy
    “Music can name the unnamable and communicate the unknowable.”
  • Thornton Wilder
    Thornton%20Wilder
    “Where there is an unknowable, there is a promise.”
  • Ambrose Bierce
    Ambrose%20Bierce
    “Religion. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.”
  • H. L. Mencken
    H.%20L.%20Mencken
    “Theology is the effort to explain the unknowable in terms of the not worth knowing.”

Usage

In literature:

It was true that, all unknowing to herself, she also had a great belief in British generosity and British justice.
"Good Old Anna" by Marie Belloc Lowndes
An effort to explain the unknowable by putting it into terms of the not worth knowing.
"A Book of Burlesques" by H. L. Mencken
To-day he had come down to the Waterfoot almost unknowing where he walked.
"Gilian The Dreamer" by Neil Munro
Afterward his heart would carry them about unknowingly.
"Erik Dorn" by Ben Hecht
In either case, is the correct word 'unknown' or 'unknowable'?
"Masters of Space" by Edward Elmer Smith
Unknowingly, for at that time I only pursued joy, I had begun, since I drew my joy from Nature, to get in touch with Nature.
"Masterpieces of Mystery In Four Volumes" by Various
It was an act that does not bear the close scrutiny of the unknowing mob.
"Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Vol. 13" by Elbert Hubbard
Yet that is what the unknowing think of when they think of the Italian quarter.
"Nights in London" by Thomas Burke
This was what I had fled from, unknowing the source of my panic, the night before.
"The Thing from the Lake" by Eleanor M. Ingram
Unknowingly Lydia stood before the answer from her husband, the final statement that she wished to hear.
"The Squirrel-Cage" by Dorothy Canfield
***

In poetry:

And where I cannot set my faith,
Unknowing or unwise,
I say "If this be what he saith,
Here hidden treasure lies."
"The Disciple" by George MacDonald
Having drifted apart,
Why should folk
Despise each other? For
Not known and unknowing
Times there were once before…
"Having drifted apart" by Saigyo
Faded my elbow ghost, the mothers-eyed,
As, blowing on the angels, I was lost
On that cloud coast to each grave-grabbing shade;
I blew the dreaming fellows to their bed
Where still they sleep unknowing of their ghost.
"I Fellowed Sleep" by Dylan Thomas
Thus speak we and think not, we censure unheeding, unknowing,–
Unkindly and blindly we utter the words of the brain;
We see not the goal of our brother, we see but his going,
And sneer at his fall if he fall, and laugh at his pain.
"The Way Of The World" by George Frederick Cameron
And yet, as years their passage told, faint shadows slowly crept
Upon the blighted maiden's mind, and oft she knelt and wept
Unknowing why, her wavy form so thin and reed-like grew,
And so appealing her blue eyes, they tears from others drew.
"The Sinless Child Part 4" by Elizabeth Oakes Smith
Hast thou the infant seen that yet, unknowing of the love
Which warms and cradles, calmly sleeps the mother's heart above—
Wandering from arm to arm, until the call of passion wakes,
And glimmering on the conscious eye—the world in glory breaks?
"The Philosophical Egotist" by Friedrich von Schiller

In news:

Understand What's Predictable And What's Unknowable .
The 'lone wolf' -- the unknowable face of terror.
The Unknowledgeable In Pursuit of the Unknowable .
The Computer as a Road Map to Unknowable Territory.
Oregon couple unknowingly buys house that's former meth lab.
Are We Unknowingly Wrong-Sizing Ducts.
Investigators believe Lilia Tirdea unknowingly used poisonous wild mushrooms she picked in a gravy dish.
An arrest has been made in the case of the dog that was unknowingly dragged.
Mitt Romney's campaign statements define him as unknowable.
Shelve the old saw about Portugal being the most unknowable country in Europe.
You unknowingly proved our point, the one in which you have all along denied.
David Joseph, 27, Crystal Heights, was snowboarding by himself and unknowingly crossed the western edge of the ski area boundary and became lost.
But in Teitoi's case, the shark unknowingly saved him.
The world beyond our doorstep can be a frightening place: vast, unknowable, full of strange people engaged in foreign activities for reasons beyond our comprehension.
When God seems unknowable, it's hard for women to keep their faith strong.
***

In science:

Random Matrix theory assumes that the Hamiltonian operator H of a generic quantum system is unknown and unknowable [1–3].
Finite-difference distributions for the Ginibre ensemble
This reality cannot be directly experienced, and is therefore unknown and even in principle unknowable.
Algorithmic Chaos
In the same way, the human civilization of planet Earth could be immersed in a much larger civilization unknowingly, corresponding to much more evolved and intelligent species than ourselves.
Brane Worlds, the Subanthropic Principle and the Undetectability Conjecture
Let us discuss in detail the possibility that our small terrestrial civilization is embedded in a large civilization unknowingly.
Brane Worlds, the Subanthropic Principle and the Undetectability Conjecture
From one perspective the unknowability of such events has to do with the large number of elements in the system, so many in fact, that the behavior of the system ceases to be predictable .
From Knowledge, Knowability and the Search for Objective Randomness to a New Vision of Complexity
***