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an unknown quantity

Meaning: If a thing or a person is an unknown quantity, not much is known about them.

For example:

  • The Saints have signed a new player, but he's an unknown quantity at this stage as very few people have seen him play.

  • We've all heard stories about a great new Ferrari engine, but it's still an unknown quantity as far as racing is concerned.

Quick Quiz:

Our new sales manager is an unknown quantity because
  1. we don't like her
  2. we don't need her
  3. we haven't met her

Discuss: an unknown quantity

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