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adjective \ˈōn\

Definition of own

  1. 1 :  belonging to oneself or itself —usually used following a possessive case or possessive adjective <cooked my own dinner>

  2. 2 —used to express immediate or direct kinship <an own son> <an own sister>

Origin of own

Middle English owen, from Old English āgen; akin to Old High German eigan own, Old Norse eiginn, Old English āgan to possess — more at owe

First Known Use: before 12th century




Simple Definition of own

  • : to have (something) as property : to legally possess (something)

  • : to admit that something is true

Full Definition of own

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to have or hold as property :  possess b :  to have power or mastery over <wanted to own his own life>

  3. 2 :  to acknowledge to be true, valid, or as claimed :  admit <own a debt>

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to acknowledge something to be true, valid, or as claimed —used with to or up

own·er play \ˈō-nər\ noun

Examples of own

  1. We hope to someday own our own home.

  2. She drives a red truck that was originally owned by her grandfather.

  3. He owns the rights to the band's music.

  4. The couple owns and operates the business.

  5. After everyone else denied any responsibility, he owned that he was at fault.

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of own

before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of own

acknowledge, admit, own, avow, confess mean to disclose against one's will or inclination. acknowledge implies the disclosing of something that has been or might be concealed <acknowledged an earlier peccadillo>. admit implies reluctance to disclose, grant, or concede and refers usually to facts rather than their implications <admitted the project was over budget>. own implies acknowledging something in close relation to oneself <must own I know little about computers>. avow implies boldly declaring, often in the face of hostility, what one might be expected to be silent about <avowed that he was a revolutionary>. confess may apply to an admission of a weakness, failure, omission, or guilt <confessed a weakness for sweets>.



pronoun, singular or plural in construction

Definition of own

  1. :  one or ones belonging to oneself —used after a possessive and without a following noun <gave out books so that each of us had our own> <a room of your own>

on one's own
  1. 1 :  for or by oneself :  independently of assistance or control <made the decision on his own>

  2. 2 :  left to rely entirely on one's own resources <if you mess up, you're on your own>

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of own

before 12th century

OWNER Defined for Kids


noun own·er \ˈō-nər\

Definition of owner

  1. :  a person who owns something

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up own? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 12, 2016

of, relating to, or suggestive of marble

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