unbeknownst

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

C. 1636: unusual form of un- +‎ beknown

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˌʌnbɪˈnoʊnst/

Adverb[edit]

unbeknownst ‎(not comparable)

  1. (followed by to) without the knowledge of
    He went home early, unbeknownst to his mother.

Usage notes[edit]

Some writers advise against using this word, describing it as "unnecessary". It is true that it can usually be replaced by unknown (to), though the sentence may need rearranging to sound natural.

  1. Unknown to his mother, he went home early.

Translations[edit]