Definition of unknown in English:


Line breaks: un|known
Pronunciation: /ʌnˈnəʊn



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  • 1An unknown person or thing: she is a relative unknown
    More example sentences
    • More importantly for his reputation, the scientific world was bewildered that a relative unknown had out-thought and out-designed the world's finest minds.
    • A decade ago, he was a relative unknown in a minority party.
    • Indeed, with all the attention that has surrounded him of late, it's easy to forget that Fiennes was a relative unknown outside the West End five years ago.
  • 1.1 (the unknown) That which is unknown: our fear of the unknown
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    • Christopher stated that the attack on liberal humanism, and economic rationalism and globalisation, reflect a common factor, fear of change, fear of the unknown.
    • ‘Certainly there is an element of racism in the situation in Sighthill, but the stronger factor is ignorance and myths and a fear of the unknown,’ he said.
    • Secondly, by attending an ante-natal class, parents can be educated and prepared, omitting the fear of the unknown, especially for first time parents.
  • 1.2 Mathematics An unknown quantity or variable: find the unknown in the following equations
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    • There is, however, work in progress concerning the numerical solution of linear equations with several unknowns using electrical circuits.
    • He sets up the coefficients of the system of three linear equations in three unknowns as a table on a ‘counting board’.
    • This leads to 5 linear equations in 5 unknowns and he refers the reader to an appendix containing Cramer's rule for their solution.


unknown to

Without the knowledge of: unknown to Miller the police had taped their telephone conversation
More example sentences
  • Sudds was critically ill, to the knowledge of his wardens but unknown to Darling.
  • When an infant comes near, her arms extend from her body to hold it, even if it is unknown to her.
  • Clearly this delicate juggling process runs into trouble if games are moved around unknown to us.



Pronunciation: /ʌnˈnəʊnnɪs/
More example sentences
  • Clearly, West Mexico's ‘unknownness’ rendered its grave goods malleable signifiers, and ironically, the ceramics' relative anonymity both led to and coexisted with regular appearances in twentieth-century visual culture.
  • The externalisation of the world, the unknownness of the mind and the unknownness of the universe are the same.
  • At the most it may be unknown, but that unknownness will disappear and it will be transformed into a known thing.

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Pronunciation: kəːf
a slit made by cutting with a saw