dis·​own | \ (ˌ)dis-ˈōn How to pronounce disown (audio) \
disowned; disowning; disowns

Definition of disown

transitive verb

1 : to refuse to acknowledge as one's own
2a : to repudiate any connection or identification with
b : to deny the validity or authority of

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Other Words from disown

disownment \ (ˌ)dis-​ˈōn-​mənt How to pronounce disownment (audio) \ noun

Examples of disown in a Sentence

Her parents threatened to disown her if she didn't go back to school. He was disowned for bringing shame to the family.
Recent Examples on the Web Fry was disowned by his Quaker meeting in 1828 when his bank, W. S. Fry & Sons, went bankrupt. Adam Harris, The Atlantic, "When Quakers Become Takers," 9 May 2020 Also: Republicans move to disown a Central Valley candidate over his social media posts. Anna Buchmann, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: Why has protective gear been so hard to get?," 22 May 2020 Peaceful campaigners have also failed to disown the violent behavior of radicals. Time, "Anti-Government Protests Have Rocked Hong Kong for Six Months. Here's a Look Back at the Major Developments," 9 Dec. 2019 The concerted campaign by the media to discredit and disown one of their own colleagues is shocking. USA TODAY, "Read Adam Schiff's and Devin Nunes' opening statements for Vindman, Williams impeachment hearing," 19 Nov. 2019 But Trump is now president, and disowning responsibility for his administration’s slow and problem-plagued response to the coronavirus could prove difficult. Maggie Haberman, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump, head of government, leans into antigovernment message," 20 Apr. 2020 After Conley was outed as gay in college, he was given a choice: be disowned or go through complete conversion therapy — a practice widely discredited as ineffective and harmful by medical practioners. Gwen Aviles, NBC News, "10 LGBTQ memoirs to read for National Memoir Writing Month," 22 Nov. 2019 Barb is a woman betrayed, a woman who gained a daughter and promptly lost her, a woman seriously considering disowning her son. Jenny Hollander, Marie Claire, "Barb Weber Was the Only Good Thing About 'The Bachelor' Finale," 11 Mar. 2020 Now one of the brand’s top designers is publicly disowning the affiliation. Brittany Shammas, Washington Post, "Trump attended the opening of a new Louis Vuitton factory. A top designer was outraged.," 22 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disown.' 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 disown

1630, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for disown

Time Traveler

The first known use of disown was in 1630

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Statistics for disown

Last Updated

9 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Disown.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disown. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for disown


How to pronounce disown (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of disown

: to say or decide that you will no longer be connected with, associated with, or responsible for (someone or something)


dis·​own | \ dis-ˈōn How to pronounce disown (audio) \
disowned; disowning

Kids Definition of disown

: to refuse to accept any longer a relationship with or connection to … they disowned my mother when she got married …— Judy Blume, Are You There God?

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More from Merriam-Webster on disown

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disown

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with disown

Spanish Central: Translation of disown

Nglish: Translation of disown for Spanish Speakers

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