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How to pronounce unknown (audio)
The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook

Dictionary definition of unknown

Not recognized, identified, or familiar to a person or group.
"He embarked on an adventure to explore the unknown wilderness."

Detailed meaning of unknown

It denotes a lack of knowledge, understanding, or awareness regarding a particular person, thing, or concept. When something is described as unknown, it implies that it has not been discovered, explored, or revealed, and therefore remains mysterious or hidden. It can be applied to various contexts, such as an unknown person whose identity is not known, an unknown location that has not been explored or documented, or an unknown concept or phenomenon that has yet to be understood or explained. The state of being unknown often invites curiosity and prompts further investigation or exploration in order to unravel the mysteries and gain a better understanding. The unknown holds the potential for new discoveries, fresh perspectives, and expanded knowledge, making it an intriguing and often stimulating concept in various fields of study and human exploration.

Example sentences containing unknown

1. The detective was determined to solve the mystery surrounding the unknown assailant.
2. The artist was inspired by the beauty of the unknown landscapes.
3. The scientist dedicated years of research to unravel the secrets of the unknown phenomenon.
4. His decision to take a different path was driven by a desire for the excitement of the unknown.
5. The explorers ventured into the uncharted territory, eager to uncover the unknown.
6. The writer was captivated by the allure of the unknown, weaving tales of mystery and intrigue.

History and etymology of unknown

The adjective 'unknown' can be deconstructed into its root word, 'known.' In this term, the prefix 'un-' is employed to negate or reverse the quality of being 'known.' 'Known' has its origins in the Old English word 'cnawan,' which means 'to recognize,' 'to identify,' or 'to be familiar with.' Over time, 'known' evolved in the English language to describe something that is recognized, identified, or familiar to a person or group. Consequently, 'unknown' signifies the opposite, denoting something that is not recognized, identified, or familiar, often implying a lack of information or awareness about its identity or existence. Its etymology is deeply rooted in the historical development of 'known' and the use of 'un-' to convey the reversal of recognition or familiarity.

Quiz: Find the meaning of unknown

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Further usage examples of unknown

1. The archaeologists made an astonishing discovery in the depths of the unknown tomb.
2. The astronaut braved the vast expanse of space, venturing into the unknown.
3. The inventor's breakthrough invention opened up new possibilities in the realm of the unknown.
4. The unknown language proved to be a fascinating challenge for the linguist.
5. The student was excited to delve into the unknown realms of knowledge in the upcoming course.
6. The identity of the mysterious caller remained unknown.
7. Exploring the unknown can be both exciting and daunting.
8. The artist gained fame from painting the unknown landscapes.
9. The unknown author's book became an instant bestseller.
10. An unknown species of bird was discovered in the jungle.
11. She ventured into the unknown wilderness to find herself.
12. The treasure's location remains unknown to this day.
13. The unknown assailant left behind no clues.
14. Their future is full of unknown possibilities.
15. Uncovering the truth behind the legend is a journey into the unknown.
16. The unknown path led to an unexpected adventure.
17. The expedition aimed to explore the unknown depths of the ocean.
18. The scientist was fascinated by the mysteries of the unknown.
19. Venturing into the unknown can be a transformative experience.
20. He faced the unknown with courage and determination.
21. The uncharted territory remained largely unknown to explorers.
22. The unknown outcome of the experiment intrigued researchers.
23. Their journey into the unknown was filled with challenges.
24. The explorer documented the unknown flora and fauna.
25. The enigmatic painting depicted an unknown world.

unfamiliar, known, recognized, familiar

TOEFL 5, Hurdles and Setbacks, Discovery and Exploration




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