Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


or unbid

[uhn-bid-n] /ʌnˈbɪd n/
not ordered or commanded; spontaneous.
not asked or summoned; uninvited.
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.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for unbidden
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Where was the shrinking, frightened, unbidden guest of a moment before, with downcast eyes and burning cheeks?

    Audrey Mary Johnston
  • I will not perjure myself at his bidding; but being with him, I will kneel to him unbidden.

    Privy Seal Ford Madox Ford
  • It came to him suddenly and unbidden, and it lay, a chilly weight, over all his consciousness.

    The Dominant Strain Anna Chapin Ray
  • And still it stayed there all day—the unbidden ghost-guest of his soul.

    The Bishop of Cottontown John Trotwood Moore
  • As unbidden guests are apt to do, they often come at inconvenient times.

    The Mirror of the Sea Joseph Conrad
  • And how came you unbidden into my private cabinet, Don Felipe?

    Sir Henry Morgan, Buccaneer Cyrus Townsend Brady
  • But these must all come and go, untaught, unbidden, from the fulness of the heart.

  • You are here under my roof an unexpected and unbidden guest.

  • But in a fresh assault a soldier, unbidden, hurled a firebrand through the golden door.

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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for unbidden

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for unbidden

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for unbidden