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[uhn-bi-nohn] /ˌʌn bɪˈnoʊn/
unknown; unperceived; without one's knowledge (usually followed by to).
Also, unbeknownst
[uhn-bi-nohnst] /ˌʌn bɪˈnoʊnst/ (Show IPA)
Origin of unbeknown
late Middle English
1630-40; un-1 + beknown (late Middle English beknowe, past participle of beknowen); see be-, known Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for unbeknown
Historical Examples
  • Where he come from and where he's gone to is unbeknown to me.

    The Poet at the Breakfast Table Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • I told Grant if he could let Jeff Davis escape all unbeknown to himself, to let him go.

    Abraham Lincoln William Eleroy Curtis
  • All unbeknown to himself, she had made him stand for his King.

    The Following of the Star Florence L. Barclay
  • That, or a three-pronged fork, said Cole, unbeknown to any but herself.

    The Search Party G. A. Birmingham
  • That wonderful man, as is always prowling about, unbeknown to any one.

    Cripps, the Carrier

    R. D. (Richard Doddridge) Blackmore
  • Half her can do is unbeknown to me, not having the brains as used to be.

    Perlycross R. D. Blackmore
  • How comes it you're took that way, all unbeknown t' your friends?

    Rowdy of the Cross L B.M. Sinclair, AKA B.M. Bower
  • It must be some stranger that has fallen in love with me unbeknown.

    Jack's Ward

    Horatio Alger, Jr.
  • Maybe, sir, them premises at the farm are also unbeknown to you.

    Clara Hopgood Mark Rutherford
  • Finally he spread his wings, and as he did so an impudent little goldcrest hopped (unbeknown to his great rival) on to his back.

British Dictionary definitions for unbeknown


(sentence modifier) foll by to. without the knowledge (of a person): unbeknown to him she had left the country Also (esp Brit) unbeknownst
(rare) (postpositive) usually foll by to. not known (to)
Word Origin
C17: from the archaic beknown known; see be-, know
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 unbeknown

1630s, from un- (1) "not" + beknown (see beknow).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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