View synonyms for own


[ ohn ]


  1. of, relating to, or belonging to oneself or itself (usually used after a possessive to emphasize the idea of ownership, interest, or relation conveyed by the possessive):

    He spent only his own money.

  2. (used as an intensifier to indicate oneself as the sole agent of some activity or action, preceded by a possessive):

    He insists on being his own doctor.

verb (used with object)

  1. to have or hold as one's own; possess:

    They own several homes.

    Antonyms: need, lack

  2. to acknowledge or admit:

    to own a fault.

  3. to acknowledge as one's own; recognize as having full claim, authority, power, dominion, etc.:

    He owned his child before the entire assembly. They owned the king as their lord.

  4. to totally defeat, gain control over, or dominate in a competition:

    I totally owned the last two levels of the game.

    He owned the season from beginning to end and took the world title.

  5. to take over a (a computer system, program, or computer) without authorization:

    The network has been owned by a hacker.

verb (used without object)

  1. to confess (often followed by to, up, or up to ):

    The one who did it had better own up. I own to being uncertain about that.


/ əʊn /


    1. (intensifier)

      your own mother

      John's own idea

    2. ( as pronoun )

      I'll use my own

  1. on behalf of oneself or in relation to oneself

    he is his own worst enemy

  2. come into one's own
    1. to become fulfilled

      she really came into her own when she got divorced

    2. to receive what is due to one
  3. get one's own back informal.
    to have revenge
  4. hold one's own
    to maintain one's situation or position, esp in spite of opposition or difficulty
  5. on one's own
    1. without help
    2. by oneself; alone


  1. tr to have as one's possession
  2. whenintr, often foll by up, to, or up to to confess or admit; acknowledge
  3. rare.
    tr; takes a clause as object to concede

    I own that you are right

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Other Words From

  • non·owning adjective
  • un·owned adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of own1

First recorded before 900; (adjective) Middle English owen, Old English āgen (cognate with German eigen, Old Norse eigenn ), originally the past participle of āgan “to possess” ( owe ); (verb) Middle English ownen, Old English āgnian, āhnian, derivative of āgen

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Word History and Origins

Origin of own1

Old English āgen, originally past participle of āgan to have; related to Old Saxon ēgan, Old Norse eiginn. See owe

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. come into one's own,
    1. to take possession of that which is due or owed one.
    2. to receive the recognition that one's abilities merit:

      She finally came into her own as a sculptor of the first magnitude.

  2. get one's own back, to get revenge and thereby a sense of personal satisfaction, as for a slight or a previous setback; get even with somebody or something:

    He saw the award as a way of getting his own back for all the snubs by his colleagues.

  3. hold one's own,
    1. to maintain one's position or condition:

      The stock market seems to be holding its own these days.

    2. to be equal to the opposition:

      He can hold his own in any fight.

  4. of one's own, belonging to oneself:

    She had never had a room of her own.

  5. on one's own,
    1. by dint of one's own efforts, resources, or sense of responsibility; independently:

      Because she spoke the language, she got around the country very well on her own.

    2. living or functioning without dependence on others; independent:

      My son's been on his own for several years.

More idioms and phrases containing own

  • afraid of one's own shadow
  • after one's own heart
  • beat someone at his or her own game
  • blow one's own horn
  • call one's own
  • close to home
  • come into (one's own)
  • dig one's own grave
  • do one's (own) thing
  • dose of one's own medicine
  • get (one's own) back
  • get one's (own) way
  • go one's (own) way
  • hold one's own
  • in one's (own) interest
  • in one's own backyard
  • in one's own right
  • in one's own world
  • keep one's own counsel
  • know one's own mind
  • leave to someone's own devices
  • mind of one's own
  • mind one's own business
  • of one's own accord
  • on one's (own) feet
  • on one's own
  • on one's own account
  • on one's own time
  • paddle one's own canoe
  • pay back in one's own coin
  • pay one's (own) way
  • pick on (someone your own size)
  • pull one's (own) weight
  • sign one's own death warrant
  • stew in one's own juice
  • take into one's (own) hands
  • under one's own steam
  • write one's own ticket

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Synonym Study

See have.

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Example Sentences

Yet American minimalism, isolationism, realism, mind-our-own-business-ism—whatever you want to call it—is cyclical.

This process continues today, when only a handful of vineyards with ungrafted, or “own-rooted,” vines still exist.

Just church, public festivals, and the occasional make-your-own-music night at home?

Their three children, Vittorio, Luca, and Angela (its current designer) took over the brand in the 1990s and currently co-own it.

The corner rent-to-own store also carries laptops and PCs, along with flat-screen TVs, washers-driers, and furniture of all kind.

“Follows-his-own-fancy,” she repeated, as one repeats a strange phrase, the meaning of which is obscure.

Opposite is a little, hold-your-own school-mistressy young person in pince-nez.

No wonder her father had hidden that photograph, so secretly behind her own-ashamed of having kept it!

"It's g-g-g-gone d-d-d-own the bab-b-b-back of my n-n-n-neck," sputtered Ding-dong Bell protestingly.

Couldn't a-be'n 'at she'd a-wundered off her-own-se'f; and it couldn't a-be'n 'at Steve'd take her, 'thout a-lettin' us know it.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




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