[ dis-kleym ]
/ dɪsˈkleɪm /
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verb (used with object)
to deny or repudiate interest in or connection with; disavow; disown: disclaiming all participation.
Law. to renounce a claim or right to.
to reject the claims or authority of.
verb (used without object)
Law. to renounce or repudiate a legal claim or right.
Obsolete. to disavow interest.
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Origin of disclaim

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English, from Anglo-French disclaimer, desclamer. See dis-1, claim


un·dis·claimed, adjective


declaim, disclaim
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does disclaim mean?

Disclaim most generally means to deny any involvement or interest in something—to disavow or disown.

It’s often used in a legal context to reject responsibility for something or to renounce a claim or the rights to something.

The noun form of disclaim is disclaimer, which refers to a statement or document intended to limit the responsibility or legal liability of a company, organization, or person. Disclaimers typically claim that the party issuing the disclaimer is NOT responsible for certain risks or is NOT affiliated with certain other parties—they make as many statements as they can to disclaim any responsibility.

Example: It says right here that the parties to this contract disclaim any responsibility for lost revenue resulting from the agreement.

Where does disclaim come from?

The first records of disclaim come from the 1400s. It comes from the Anglo-French word disclaimer and uses the prefix dis to indicate a reversal or negation.

The opposite of claiming responsibility is disclaiming it. In a general sense, disclaim typically means to make a statement intended to disavow something in order to avoid responsibility for it, as in The senator is trying to disclaim any association with the hate group. 

Disclaim is used more specifically in a legal context in reference to disclaimers. Instead of making positive claims, a disclaimer typically does the opposite: it uses legal language to disclaim any association or position that may put the issuing party at risk of being sued. Disclaimers are used to specify or limit the obligations that could be enforced in a legally recognized relationship, such as between a company and its customers or a website and its users. Disclaimers, like those found in contracts and at the bottom of web pages, often make use of lengthy passages of legal jargon (sometimes called fine print), with wording like at your own risk and provided “as is” and not liable for any damages.

Disclaimers aren’t always so wrapped up in legalese. “Swim at your own risk” and “Beware of dog” are both common ways to disclaim responsibility.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to disclaim?

  • disclaimer (noun)
  • undisclaimed (noun)
  • disclamation (noun)

What are some words that share a root or word element with disclaim

What are some words that often get used in discussing disclaim?


How is disclaim used in real life?

Disclaim is most commonly used in a legal context to refer to what disclaimers do.



Try using disclaim!

True or False? 

When you disclaim something, you take responsibility for it.

How to use disclaim in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for disclaim

/ (dɪsˈkleɪm) /

(tr) to deny or renounce (any claim, connection, etc)
(tr) to deny the validity or authority of
law to renounce or repudiate (a legal claim or right)

Derived forms of disclaim

disclamation (ˌdɪskləˈmeɪʃən), noun
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