disavow

verb
dis·​avow | \ ˌdis-ə-ˈvau̇ How to pronounce disavow (audio) \
disavowed; disavowing; disavows

Definition of disavow

transitive verb

1 : to deny responsibility for : repudiate disavowed the actions of his subordinates
2 : to refuse to acknowledge or accept : disclaim party leaders disavowed him … have publicly disavowed any claim on the Graceland estate.— Dan Chu

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Other Words from disavow

disavowable \ ˌdis-​ə-​ˈvau̇-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce disavow (audio) \ adjective
disavowal \ ˌdis-​ə-​ˈvau̇(-​ə)l How to pronounce disavow (audio) \ noun

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.

Examples of disavow in a Sentence

He disavowed the actions of his subordinates. She now seems to be trying to disavow her earlier statements.
Recent Examples on the Web For his part, Trump refuses to disavow Putin or anything about their Helsinki summit. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, 16 June 2021 Asked Monday about that statement, Greene declined to disavow it and instead renewed her criticism of Democrats. Felicia Sonmez, Anchorage Daily News, 15 June 2021 The egregious nature of Chauvin's crime has led officers across the country and in his own department to disavow him and even testify against him. Tami Abdollah, USA TODAY, 26 June 2021 Tellingly, when asked Monday about this Nazi comparison, Greene did not disavow or apologize for it. Jill Filipovic, CNN, 15 June 2021 Conley encourages the school to formally disavow DezNat. Courtney Tanner, The Salt Lake Tribune, 14 May 2021 Pursuing such an outcome allowed Chauvin’s employers and supervisors to disavow him, describing him as a rogue cop who had abandoned his training. Keeanga-yamahtta Taylor, The New Yorker, 7 May 2021 This evening, Joe Biden will address Congress for the first time in his presidency and disavow those declarations, making the case for the first time in decades that government spending must be sharply expanded to meet the nation’s needs. Los Angeles Times, 28 Apr. 2021 The Spanish and Italian clubs still clinging to the Super League must disavow the breakaway or face being banned from the Champions League, UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin told The Associated Press on Friday. Rob Harris, Star Tribune, 23 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disavow.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of disavow

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for disavow

Middle English desavowen, from Anglo-French desavouer, from des- dis- + avouer to avow

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Time Traveler for disavow

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The first known use of disavow was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

16 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Disavow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disavow. Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for disavow

disavow

verb

English Language Learners Definition of disavow

formal : to say that you are not responsible for (something) : to deny that you know about or are involved in (something)

More from Merriam-Webster on disavow

Britannica English: Translation of disavow for Arabic Speakers

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