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

transitive verb

: to refuse to acknowledge as one's own
: to repudiate any connection or identification with
: to deny the validity or authority of
disownment 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 The Bradford-set series introduces Detective Harry Virdee (Dhawan), a Bradford cop disowned by his Sikh family for marrying Saima, who is Muslim. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 25 Aug. 2023 At 46, she was immediately disowned and kicked out of the business, and lost all contact with her siblings and parents. Lina Abascal, Los Angeles Times, 22 Aug. 2023 My mother nobly bearing the loss of my brother, who disowned her, my father, the entire family. Jamie Quatro, The New Yorker, 31 July 2023 And over the weekend, seemingly unprovoked, Doja Cat disowned the name completely. Jonah Valdez, Los Angeles Times, 25 July 2023 That took place in April 2020 when then-state Rep. Vernon Jones, a former chief executive of DeKalb County, endorsed Donald Trump’s reelection bid and was quickly disowned by fellow Democrats. Mark Niesse, al, 12 July 2023 In his post disowning his former press secretary, Trump claimed that McEnany misreported the size of the margin of a poll showing him ahead in the 2024 Republican presidential race. David Jackson, USA TODAY, 31 May 2023 These episodes don’t, however, foreshadow an emotional blowout between the drama’s central figures: Monica, a transgender woman, and her mother Eugenia, who disowned her years before. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 16 May 2023 That’s not to say the White House disowned the deal once it was finally reached. W. James Antle Iii, Washington Examiner, 1 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'disown.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1630, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of disown was in 1630

Dictionary Entries Near disown

Cite this Entry

“Disown.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disown. Accessed 3 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


dis·​own (ˈ)dis-ˈōn How to pronounce disown (audio)
: to refuse to accept any longer as one's own : renounce, disclaim

More from Merriam-Webster on disown

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