Unbeknownst Definition of unbenounced

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unbeknownst

adjective

un·​be·​knownst


| \ˌən-bi-ˈnōn(t)st

\

variants:

or less commonly
unbeknown
\ ˌən-​bi-​ˈnōn

\

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






Synonyms






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Example Sentences






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Synonyms for unbeknownst

Synonyms

unknown

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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.

Examples of unbeknownst in a Sentence


unbeknownst to me, my mother was planning a party

Recent Examples on the Web


The pair alleged that, unbeknownst to them, Biffle had recorded them with cameras wired in the master bedroom, bathroom, and a guest room, of the couple’s North Carolina home, the Charlotte Observer reported.

Elizabeth Zwirz, Fox News, “Ex-NASCAR driver Greg Biffle ordered to pay ex-wife $1 for personal recordings, jury decides,” 14 Aug. 2018



Apparently the film students were shooting a homework project at a property in Guadalajara, which, unbeknownst to them, was a cartel safe house.

Mike Miller, PEOPLE.com, “Guillermo del Toro Mourns Three Film Students ‘Killed and Dissolved in Acid’ by a Mexican Cartel,” 25 Apr. 2018



Her parents wanted her to be a teacher, and unbeknownst to them, Modersohn-Becker’s works would go on to teach and inspire scholars and artists for generations to come.

National Geographic, “These Famous Women Artists Changed the World With Their Self-Portraits,” 24 May 2018



But the last paragraph of the 11-page bill, approved earlier this month apparently unbeknownst to even Edsall’s attorneys, has nothing to do with data storage.

Dave Altimari, courant.com, “Amendment To Unrelated Law Could Help UConn Coach Edsall’s Son Keep Job,” 25 June 2018



So is Woodstock itself, since Pearl and Alison, unbeknownst to the other, both run off to the festival.

Jessica Zack, San Francisco Chronicle, “Diane Lane-Viggo Mortensen film ‘A Walk on the Moon’ on the musical stage,” 6 June 2018



And completely unbeknownst to us, last week, a large consumer search engine picked that up.

Recode Staff, Recode, “Full transcript: Matt Cutts of the U.S. Digital Service on Recode Decode,” 12 July 2018



There weren’t any movies on the plane, but Blair had Wifi—and two apparent lovebirds who, unbeknownst to them, had just gone viral.

Emma Stefansky, Vanities, “Not Everyone Thinks That Viral Airplane Matchmaker Thread Is Cute,” 5 July 2018



On the road in Jack’s old Rolls-Royce for much of the movie, Jack wastes no time enlisting Henry, unbeknownst to his mom, to help him sell his marijuana stash.

Jessica Zack, SFChronicle.com, “Christopher Plummer quite a character actor in ‘Boundaries’,” 20 June 2018

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 .

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First Known Use of unbeknownst

1636, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for unbeknownst

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

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From the Editors at Merriam-Webster

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The Strange Path of ‘Unbeknownst’

The Strange Path of ‘Unbeknownst’

From country dialect to standard English

Dictionary Entries near unbeknownst

unbegun

unbeheld

unbeholden

unbeknownst

unbeknownst to

unbeknown to

unbelief

Phrases Related to unbeknownst

unbeknown to

unbeknownst to

Statistics for unbeknownst

Last Updated

19 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for unbeknownst

The first known use of unbeknownst was
in 1636

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More Definitions for unbeknownst

unbeknownst

adjective

un·​be·​knownst


| \ˌən-bi-ˈnōnst

\

variants:

also
unbeknown
\ -​ˈnōn
\

Kids Definition of unbeknownst

: happening without someone’s knowledge : unknown

Unbeknownst to him, we were planning a surprise party.

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More from Merriam-Webster on unbeknownst

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unbeknownst

Spanish Central: Translation of unbeknownst

Nglish: Translation of unbeknownst for Spanish Speakers

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Dictionary.com

unbeknown

[uhn-bi-nohn]

See more synonyms for unbeknown on Thesaurus.com

adjective
  1. unknown; unperceived; without one’s knowledge (usually followed by to).
  2. Explore Dictionary.com

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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. 2018

Related Words for unbeknownst

unperceived , unapprehended , undiscovered , unnamed , obscure , mysterious , concealed , unrecognized , anonymous


Examples from the Web for unbeknownst

Contemporary Examples of unbeknownst

  • In reality, he and been off in Argentina with his girlfriend, unbeknownst to his wife.

    The Daily Beast logo

    Mark Sanford’s Epic Facebook Overshare

    Olivia Nuzzi

    September 12, 2014

  • Unbeknownst to him, the orb contains an Infinity Stone, which holds within it the power to destroy entire planets.

    The Daily Beast logo

    ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Filmmaker James Gunn on His Glorious Space Opera and Rise to the A-List

    Marlow Stern

    August 3, 2014

  • Unbeknownst to Rullo, Scotto had not only been caught by the feds but agreed to cooperate with them.

    The Daily Beast logo

    Is FedEx America’s No. 1 Drug Dealer?

    Abby Haglage

    July 29, 2014

  • Unbeknownst to Butler, that issue already existed—and Westbrook was, naturally, its cover star.

    The Daily Beast logo

    NBA Style: Full-Court Dress

    Erin Cunningham

    May 11, 2014

  • But, unbeknownst to the Italians, the men in the boat—identified as Ajesh “Pinky” Bink and Jelestine—were not pirates after all.

    The Daily Beast logo

    Italian Pirate-Fighting Marines On Trial

    Barbie Latza Nadeau

    February 14, 2014

Historical Examples of unbeknownst

  • That’s ’bout the only way he’ll ever do one, Frank, unbeknownst like.

    Old Man Curry

    Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan

  • Unbeknownst to her, Mildred would be protected against these dangers.

    The Strange Adventures of Mr. Middleton

    Wardon Allan Curtis

  • But unbeknownst to it, this very violence thrived on these pecuniary fertilizers.

    After the Rain

    Sam Vaknin

  • Some of them carriers, I expect, puttin’ their horses in unbeknownst to you.

    An Outback Marriage

    Andrew Barton Paterson

  • Unbeknownst to yourself, dear, you bore him what he wanted, and what I wanted.

    The Soul of Susan Yellam

    Horace Annesley Vachell


British Dictionary definitions for unbeknownst

unbeknown

adverb
  1. (sentence modifier foll by to) without the knowledge (of a person)unbeknown to him she had left the country Also (esp Brit): unbeknownst
adjective
  1. (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

Word Origin and History for unbeknownst

1833, vulgar formation from unbeknown (1630s). No clear reason for the -st, but since 19c. this has become the dominant form.

unbeknown

adj.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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Nearby words for unbeknownst


  1. unbearable
  2. unbeatable
  3. unbeaten
  4. unbecoming
  5. unbegotten
  6. unbeknownst
  7. unbeknownst
  8. unbelief
  9. unbelievable
  10. unbelievably
  11. unbeliever

Dictionary.com

unbeknown

[uhn-bi-nohn]

See more synonyms for unbeknown on Thesaurus.com

adjective
  1. unknown; unperceived; without one’s knowledge (usually followed by to).
  2. Explore Dictionary.com

    • The 2018 Word of the Year is...The 2018 Word of the Year is…
    • Can You Translate These Famous Phrases From Emoji?Can You Translate These Famous Phrases From Emoji?
    • These Are the Longest Words in EnglishThese Are the Longest Words in English
    • These Are the Saddest Phrases in EnglishThese Are the Saddest Phrases in English
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. 2018

Related Words for unbeknownst

unperceived , unapprehended , undiscovered , unnamed , obscure , mysterious , concealed , unrecognized , anonymous


Examples from the Web for unbeknownst

Contemporary Examples of unbeknownst

  • In reality, he and been off in Argentina with his girlfriend, unbeknownst to his wife.

    The Daily Beast logo

    Mark Sanford’s Epic Facebook Overshare

    Olivia Nuzzi

    September 12, 2014

  • Unbeknownst to him, the orb contains an Infinity Stone, which holds within it the power to destroy entire planets.

    The Daily Beast logo

    ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Filmmaker James Gunn on His Glorious Space Opera and Rise to the A-List

    Marlow Stern

    August 3, 2014

  • Unbeknownst to Rullo, Scotto had not only been caught by the feds but agreed to cooperate with them.

    The Daily Beast logo

    Is FedEx America’s No. 1 Drug Dealer?

    Abby Haglage

    July 29, 2014

  • Unbeknownst to Butler, that issue already existed—and Westbrook was, naturally, its cover star.

    The Daily Beast logo

    NBA Style: Full-Court Dress

    Erin Cunningham

    May 11, 2014

  • But, unbeknownst to the Italians, the men in the boat—identified as Ajesh “Pinky” Bink and Jelestine—were not pirates after all.

    The Daily Beast logo

    Italian Pirate-Fighting Marines On Trial

    Barbie Latza Nadeau

    February 14, 2014

Historical Examples of unbeknownst

  • That’s ’bout the only way he’ll ever do one, Frank, unbeknownst like.

    Old Man Curry

    Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan

  • Unbeknownst to her, Mildred would be protected against these dangers.

    The Strange Adventures of Mr. Middleton

    Wardon Allan Curtis

  • But unbeknownst to it, this very violence thrived on these pecuniary fertilizers.

    After the Rain

    Sam Vaknin

  • Some of them carriers, I expect, puttin’ their horses in unbeknownst to you.

    An Outback Marriage

    Andrew Barton Paterson

  • Unbeknownst to yourself, dear, you bore him what he wanted, and what I wanted.

    The Soul of Susan Yellam

    Horace Annesley Vachell


British Dictionary definitions for unbeknownst

unbeknown

adverb
  1. (sentence modifier foll by to) without the knowledge (of a person)unbeknown to him she had left the country Also (esp Brit): unbeknownst
adjective
  1. (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

Word Origin and History for unbeknownst

1833, vulgar formation from unbeknown (1630s). No clear reason for the -st, but since 19c. this has become the dominant form.

unbeknown

adj.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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shrievalty

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Nearby words for unbeknownst


  1. unbearable
  2. unbeatable
  3. unbeaten
  4. unbecoming
  5. unbegotten
  6. unbeknownst
  7. unbeknownst
  8. unbelief
  9. unbelievable
  10. unbelievably
  11. unbeliever