[ ohn ]
See synonyms for: ownownedownerownest on Thesaurus.com

  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.

  2. to acknowledge or admit: to own a fault.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

Idioms about own

  1. come into one's own,

    • to take possession of that which is due or owed one.

    • 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.

  1. hold one's own,

    • to maintain one's position or condition: The stock market seems to be holding its own these days.

    • to be equal to the opposition: He can hold his own in any fight.

  2. of one's own, belonging to oneself: She had never had a room of her own.

  3. on one's own,

    • 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.

    • living or functioning without dependence on others; independent: My son's been on his own for several years.

Origin of own

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” (see owe); (verb) Middle English ownen,Old English āgnian, āhnian, derivative of āgen

synonym study For own

3. See have.

Opposites for own

Other words from own

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

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use own in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for own


/ (əʊn) /

determiner(preceded by a possessive)
    • (intensifier): John's own idea; your own mother

    • (as pronoun): I'll use my own

  1. on behalf of oneself or in relation to oneself: he is his own worst enemy

  1. come into one's own

    • to become fulfilled: she really came into her own when she got divorced

    • to receive what is due to one

  2. get one's own back informal to have revenge

  3. hold one's own to maintain one's situation or position, esp in spite of opposition or difficulty

  4. on one's own

    • without help

    • by oneself; alone

  1. (tr) to have as one's possession

  2. (when intr, often foll by up, to, or up to) to confess or admit; acknowledge

  1. (tr; takes a clause as object) rare to concede: I own that you are right

Origin of own

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

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with own


In addition to the idioms beginning with own

  • own medicine
  • own person, be one's
  • own up

also see:

  • 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

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