Definition of disavow
- disavowed the actions of his subordinates
- party leaders disavowed him
- … have publicly disavowed any claim on the Graceland estate.
- —Dan Chu
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He disavowed the actions of his subordinates.
She now seems to be trying to disavow her earlier statements.
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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.
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
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