Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Occurring or existing without being known; unknown.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Unknown.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective colloq. Not known; unknown.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective not beknown

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adverb without someone's knowledge
  • adjective (usually used with `to') occurring or existing without the knowledge of

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[un– + obsolete beknown, known (from Middle English beknowen, past participle of beknowen, to get to know, from Old English becnāwan : be-, be- + cnāwan, to know; see know).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Back-formation of unbeknownst.

Examples

  • WITNESS: It 'adn't bin, but my nevy bein' a watchmaker, called unbeknown to me, an 'made it right on Thursday night, which it was

    The Mystery of a Hansom Cab

  • In preparing the lemonade, the friend pointed to the brandy-bottle, and said the lemonade would be more palatable if he were to pour in a little brandy; when his guest said, if he could do so "unbeknown" to him, he would "not object."

    Memoirs of the Union's Three Great Civil War Generals

  • In preparing the lemonade, the friend pointed to the brandy-bottle, and said the lemonade would be more palatable if he were to pour in a little brandy; when his guest said, if he could do so "unbeknown" to him, he would "not object."

    The Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman, Volume II., Part 4

  • In preparing the lemonade, the friend pointed to the brandy-bottle, and said the lemonade would be more palatable if he were to pour in a little brandy; when his guest said, if he could do so "unbeknown" to him, he would "not object."

    Memoirs of Gen. William T. Sherman — Volume 2

  • In preparing the lemonade, the friend pointed to the brandy-bottle, and said the lemonade would be more palatable if he were to pour in a little brandy; when his guest said, if he could do so "unbeknown" to him, he would "not object."

    Memoirs of Gen. William T. Sherman — Complete

  • WITNESS: It ’adn’t bin, but my nevy bein’ a watchmaker, called unbeknown to me, an’ made it right on

    The Mystery of a Hansom Cab

  • In preparing the lemonade, the friend pointed to the brandy-bottle, and said the lemonade would be more palatable if he were to pour in a little brandy; when his guest said, if he could do so "unbeknown" to him, he would "not object."

    Conservapedia - Recent changes [en]

  • In preparing the lemonade, the friend pointed to the brandy-bottle, and said the lemonade would be more palatable if he were to pour in a little brandy; when his guest said, if he could do so "unbeknown" to him, he would "not object."

    Conservapedia - Recent changes [en]

  • The fabulously rich and entirely heartless hero has not merely the extravagance but (which is very rare with Gautier) the vulgarity of Byronism; the opening orgie, by an oversight so strange that it may almost seem to be no oversight at all, reminds one only too forcibly of the ironic treatment accorded to that institution in _Les Jeune-France_, and suffers from the reminder; the blending of East and West and the _Arabian Night_ harems in Paris, "unbeknown" to everybody, [210] almost attain that

    A History of the French Novel, Vol. 2 To the Close of the 19th Century

  • "Waymarsh has been, 'unbeknown' to me, I'm convinced" -- for Miss Gostrey had enquired -- "in communication with

    The Ambassadors

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