unknown quantity


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ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.unknown quantity - a factor in a given situation whose bearing and importance is not apparent; "I don't know what the new man will do; he's still an unknown quantity"
factor - anything that contributes causally to a result; "a number of factors determined the outcome"
2.unknown quantity - a variable whose values are solutions of an equation
variable - a symbol (like x or y) that is used in mathematical or logical expressions to represent a variable quantity
Translations

unknown quantity

n (= person)unbekannte Größe; (Math) → Unbekannte f
References in classic literature ?
Yet it is only necessary to abandon the false view (adopted to gratify the "heroes") of the efficacy of the directions issued in wartime by commanders, in order to find this unknown quantity.
That unknown quantity is the spirit of the army, that is to say, the greater or lesser readiness to fight and face danger felt by all the men composing an army, quite independently of whether they are, or are not, fighting under the command of a genius, in two- or three-line formation, with cudgels or with rifles that repeat thirty times a minute.
This problem is only solvable if we cease arbitrarily to substitute for the unknown x itself the conditions under which that force becomes apparent- such as the commands of the general, the equipment employed, and so on- mistaking these for the real significance of the factor, and if we recognize this unknown quantity in its entirety as being the greater or lesser desire to fight and to face danger.
It is an algebraic axiom, which makes us proceed from a known to an unknown quantity, and not from an unknown to a known; but sit down, sir, I beg of you."
He was an unknown quantity. He saw that he would again be obliged to experi- ment as he had in early youth.
O'Neill admits his side do not have the experience of their opponents, but he believes Celtic are an "unknown quantity" capable of surprises.
"He took four packets of cigarettes and an unknown quantity of pounds 10 notes from the till.
An unknown quantity of cheques and cash was taken from the till and the men ran off before staff raised the alarm.
"Panama will be a completely unknown quantity and they'll fancy their chances against England," he said.
The couple are accused of robbing Mohammed Aftab of his sat-nav and an unknown quantity of cash.
As for Adele, she's more of an unknown quantity but loved being part of Bond, so the signs are positive.'