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unknown

[uhn-nohn] /ʌnˈnoʊn/
adjective
1.
not known; not within the range of one's knowledge, experience, or understanding; strange; unfamiliar.
2.
not discovered, explored, identified, or ascertained:
the unknown parts of Antarctica.
3.
not widely known; not famous; obscure:
an unknown writer.
noun
4.
a thing, influence, area, factor, or person that is unknown:
the many unknowns in modern medicine; The director cast an unknown in the leading role.
5.
Mathematics. a symbol representing an unknown quantity: in algebra, analysis, etc., frequently represented by a letter from the last part of the alphabet, as x, y, or z.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English unknow(e)n. See un-1, known
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for un known

unknown

/ʌnˈnəʊn/
adjective
1.
not known, understood, or recognized
2.
not established, identified, or discovered: an unknown island
3.
not famous; undistinguished: some unknown artist
4.
unknown quantity, a person or thing whose action, effect, etc, is unknown or unpredictable
noun
5.
an unknown person, quantity, or thing
6.
(maths) a variable, or the quantity it represents, the value of which is to be discovered by solving an equation; a variable in a conditional equation: 3y = 4x + 5 is an equation in two unknowns
Derived Forms
unknownness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for un known

unknown

adj.

c.1300, "strange, unfamiliar" (of persons, places), from un- (1) "not" + past participle of know. Cf. Old English ungecnawen. In reference to facts, attested from early 14c. The noun meaning "unknown person" is recorded from 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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