Definition of unbeknownst
1 : happening or existing without the knowledge of someone specified —usually used with to unbeknownst to us rumors were flying
2 : unknown
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Examples of unbeknownst in a Sentence
unbeknownst to me, my mother was planning a party
Recent Examples of unbeknownst from the Web
But for a decade, unbeknownst to her friends, teammates and fans, Bolton’s personal life was a disaster.
Unbeknownst to Radames, Aida is the princess of Nubia, which partially explains her confidence in standing up to him in an unsuccessful attempt to gain the women’s freedom during their capture.
According to board member Laurie Summers, D-Crete, one was scheduled to be held at Balmoral School in Crete, but was cancelled by the school district, unbeknownst to her or her fellow board member in District 1, Judy Ogalla, R-Monee.
Unbeknownst to me, homes in the Blackhawk Subdivision have Nampa residence addresses, but are technically located in the Caldwell city limits.
In painstaking terms, Saunders discusses checking into the Westchester Medical Psychiatric Ward at Mt. Sinai Hospital in 2009, all unbeknownst to his ESPN colleagues.
People drinking beer that’s, unbeknownst to them, non-alcoholic, report feeling more charming and attractive than people knowingly consuming it.
Unbeknownst to Moree, Little had escaped down the back stairway, assisting firefighter Colin McWeeny, whose mask had been knocked off twice by blasts from a firefighter's hose.
Well, unbeknownst to all of us in the courtroom, Judge Jackson … was also the same judge who swore him … as a U.S. citizen.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unbeknownst.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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.
Origin and Etymology of unbeknownst
1un- + obsolete English beknown known; unbeknownst, irregular from unbeknown
First Known Use: 1636See Words from the same year
UNBEKNOWNST Defined for Kids
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