Simple Definition of disavow
: to say that you are not responsible for (something) : to deny that you know about or are involved in (something)
Examples of disavow in a sentence
He disavowed the actions of his subordinates.
She now seems to be trying to disavow her earlier statements.
Did You Know?
If you trace the etymology of disavow back through Middle English to Anglo-French, you'll arrive eventually at the prefix des- and the verb avouer, meaning "to avow." The prefix des- in turn derives from the Latin prefix dis-, meaning "apart." That Latin prefix plays a significant role in many current English words, including "disadvantage," "disappoint," and "disagree." "Avouer" is from Latin advocare, meaning "to summon," and is also the source of our word advocate.
Origin of disavow
Middle English desavowen, from Anglo-French desavouer, from des- dis- + avouer to avow
First Known Use: 14th century
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