disavow

play
verb dis·avow \ˌdis-ə-ˈvau̇\

Definition of disavow

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to deny responsibility for :  repudiate disavowed the actions of his subordinates

  3. 2 :  to refuse to acknowledge or accept :  disclaim party leaders disavowed him … have publicly disavowed any claim on the Graceland estate. — Dan Chu

disavowable

play \-ə-bəl\ adjective

disavowal

play \-ˈvau̇(-ə)l\ noun

disavow was our Word of the Day on 11/01/2009. Hear the podcast!

Examples of disavow in a Sentence

  1. He disavowed the actions of his subordinates.

  2. She now seems to be trying to disavow her earlier statements.

Recent Examples of disavow from the Web

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.

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 and Etymology of disavow

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


DISAVOW Defined for English Language Learners

disavow

play
verb

Definition of disavow for English Language Learners

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



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