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unbeknown

[uhn-bi-nohn] /ˌʌn bɪˈnoʊn/
adjective
1.
unknown; unperceived; without one's knowledge (usually followed by to).
Also, unbeknownst
[uhn-bi-nohnst] /ˌʌn bɪˈnoʊnst/ (Show IPA)
.
Origin
late Middle English
1630-1640
1630-40; un-1 + beknown (late Middle English beknowe, past participle of beknowen); see be-, known
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for unbeknown
  • But unbeknown to them a more familiar one was in the making.
  • unbeknown to him, repeated use of cocaine has brought about dramatic changes in both the structure and function of his brain.
  • Agencies may also consider regular updates of inquiries, as someone's status may have changed unbeknown to the agency.
  • The problem is, unbeknown to them, these extensions are exposing them to risk.
British Dictionary definitions for unbeknown

unbeknown

/ˌʌnbɪˈnəʊn/
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
2.
(rare) (postpositive) usually foll by to. not known (to)
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for unbeknown
adj.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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