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verb (used with object)
  1. to refuse to acknowledge as belonging or pertaining to oneself; deny the ownership of or responsibility for; repudiate; renounce: to disown one's heirs; to disown a published statement.
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Origin of disown

First recorded in 1610–20; dis-1 + own
Related formsdis·own·ment, noun


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for disown

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Do you mean, I said, that you disown the love of the person whom he says that you love?



  • "Of you," said I, blushing, and trying to disown the personality.

    Gerald Fitzgerald

    Charles James Lever

  • She longed, with a face glowing with indignation, to disown him—in word and deed.

    The Wild Geese

    Stanley John Weyman

  • I'll bet my pile she'd disown you, if she knew you turned your back on a woman.

  • She does not disown you in your sorrow no, not even in your guilt.

    The Lady of Lyons

    Edward Bulwer Lytton

British Dictionary definitions for disown


  1. (tr) to deny any connection with; refuse to acknowledge
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Derived Formsdisowner, noundisownment, 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

Word Origin and History for disown


1620s; see dis- + own (v.). Related: Disowned; disowning.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper