Dictionary.com

unbeknown

[ uhn-bi-nohn ]
/ ˌʌn bɪˈnoʊn /
Save This Word!

adjective
unknown; unperceived; without one's knowledge (usually followed by to).
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.
Also un·be·knownst [uhn-bi-nohnst]. /ˌʌn bɪˈnoʊnst/.

Origin of unbeknown

1630–40; un-1 + beknown (late Middle English beknowe, past participle of beknowen); see be-, known
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use unbeknown in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for unbeknown

unbeknown
/ (ˌʌnbɪˈnəʊn) /

adverb
(sentence modifier foll by to) without the knowledge (of a person)unbeknown to him she had left the country Also (esp Brit): unbeknownst
adjective
(postpositive usually foll by to) rare not known (to)

Word Origin for unbeknown

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
FEEDBACK