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Meaning of unknown

un•known

Pronunciation: (un-nōn'), [key]
— adj.
  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.
—n.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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