Definition of unbeknownst
- unbeknownst to us rumors were flying
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unbeknownst to me, my mother was planning a party
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.
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.
What made you want to look up unbeknownst? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
of very fine texture or delicate form
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