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unbeknownst

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adjective un·be·knownst \ˌən-bi-ˈnōn(t)st\

Definition of unbeknownst

  1. 1 :  happening or existing without the knowledge of someone specified —usually used with to <unbeknownst to us rumors were flying>

  2. 2 :  unknown



Examples of unbeknownst in a sentence

  1. <unbeknownst to me, my mother was planning a party>



Did You Know?

Unbeknownst derives from beknown, an obsolete synonym of known. But for a word with a straightforward history, unbeknownst and its older and less common variant unbeknown have created quite a flap among usage commentators. Despite widespread use (including appearances in the writings of Charles Dickens, A.E. Housman, and E.B. White), the two words have been called everything from "obsolete" to "vulgar." Our evidence, however, shows that both can be considered standard.

Variants of unbeknownst

also

unbeknown

play \-ˈnōn\

Origin and Etymology of unbeknownst

1un- + obsolete English beknown known; unbeknownst, irregular from unbeknown


First Known Use: 1636



UNBEKNOWNST Defined for Kids

unbeknownst

play
adjective un·be·knownst \ˌən-bi-ˈnōnst\

Definition of unbeknownst for Students

  1. :  happening without someone's knowledge :  unknown <Unbeknownst to him, we were planning a surprise party.>



Variants of unbeknownst

also

unbeknown

\-ˈnōn\


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