• synonyms


  1. the state or fact of being an owner.
  2. legal right of possession; proprietorship.
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Origin of ownership

First recorded in 1575–85; owner + -ship
Related formsin·ter·own·er·ship, nounself-own·er·ship, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for self-ownership

Historical Examples

  • The Socialists, taking away property too, do not notice that this secures itself a continued existence in self-ownership.

    The Ego and His Own

    Max Stirner

  • As self-will and property become powerless, so must self-ownership or egoism in general.

  • A delicious sense of self-ownership breaks the chain binding us to the toiling, struggling, worrying life we have left behind.

British Dictionary definitions for self-ownership


  1. the state or fact of being an owner
  2. legal right of possession; proprietorship
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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 self-ownership



1580s, from owner + -ship. Ownership society (2003) was popularized by U.S. president George W. Bush.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper