9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[uhn-bid-n] /ʌnˈbɪd n/
not ordered or commanded; spontaneous.
not asked or summoned; uninvited.
Also, unbid.
Origin of unbidden
before 1050; Middle English unbiden, Old English unbēden. See un-1, bidden Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for unbidden
  • Two images come to mind unbidden: one cinematic, the other from the used car lot.
  • Call not the devil, he will come fast enough unbidden.
  • It is not difficult to see that the notions which he has expelled often re-enter unbidden.
  • It did not have to be dragged into the discussion at intervals, but crowded in unbidden.
  • It takes panache to play a large outdoor carillon and inflict your art, unbidden, on a neighborhood.
  • It doesn't help that the one word that rushes unbidden to stand next to diamond is blood.
  • For singing, the poet's task, is a gesture as unbidden as falling to one's knees.
  • Even though they cannot easily reach the outside world, sometimes it intrudes, unbidden.
  • In the manual paddle-shift mode, the gearbox often downshifts unpredictably, unbidden by the driver's hand.
British Dictionary definitions for unbidden


not ordered or commanded; voluntary or spontaneous
not invited or asked
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for unbidden

Old English unbedene, "not asked or invited," from un- (1) "not" + bidden. Cf. Middle Dutch ongebeden, German ungebeten, Old Norse ubeðinn.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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