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 disavowable (audio) \ adjective
disavowal \ ˌdis-​ə-​ˈvau̇(-​ə)l How to pronounce disavowal (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 By disavowing shareholder primacy and embracing a broader vision of corporate purpose, the Roundtable has now enhanced the political legitimacy of such efforts. Steven Pearlstein, Washington Post, "Top CEOs are reclaiming legitimacy by advancing a vision of what’s good for America," 19 Aug. 2019 Yet even more than the economic argument, the environmental argument is a compelling reason to disavow this extreme Warren proposal. David L. Bahnsen, National Review, "The Warren Fracking Ban: On Public Lands, and Heck, Everywhere Else," 28 Jan. 2020 Carrie Fisher's family on Thursday issued a statement disavowing an upcoming book on the late actress. Ryan Parker, The Hollywood Reporter, "Carrie Fisher's Family Disavows Upcoming Book," 24 Oct. 2019 Game is among many founders and leaders of conversion therapy programs to disavow the practice later. oregonlive, "Conversion therapy center founder comes out as gay," 4 Sep. 2019 He was roundly criticized by fellow Republicans and withdrew from the Freedom Caucus after the group disavowed his views. Matthew Daly, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan Rep. Justin Amash withdraws from House GOP caucus," 9 July 2019 He was roundly criticized by fellow Republicans and withdrew from the Freedom Caucus of conservatives in Congress after the group disavowed his views. chicagotribune.com, "Michigan Rep. Justin Amash announces he is quitting the Republican Party," 4 July 2019 He was roundly criticized by fellow Republicans and withdrew from the Freedom Caucus of conservatives in Congress after the group disavowed his views. Washington Post, "Michigan Rep. Justin Amash quitting Republican Party," 4 July 2019 Biden’s reversal drew criticism from his two top Democratic rivals, Sanders and Warren, who have disavowed super PAC assistance during the primary. BostonGlobe.com, "Deval Patrick," 16 Nov. 2019

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

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Disavow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disavowal. Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for disavow

disavow

verb
How to pronounce disavow (audio)

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)

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More from Merriam-Webster on disavow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disavow

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with disavow

Britannica English: Translation of disavow for Arabic Speakers

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