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

Other Words from disown

disownment \ (ˌ)dis-​ˈōn-​mənt How to pronounce disown (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 When the court upheld President Trump's travel ban, in 2018, Chief Justice John Roberts went out of his way to disown the infamous 1944 decision in Korematsu v. United States, which let stand the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. The Week Staff, The Week, 22 May 2022 This is, in effect, a way for the White House to disown its own CDC. The Editors, National Review, 21 Apr. 2022 In some rural areas, a brother will disown a city-dwelling brother who allows a daughter to go to school, said Hashmi, adding that the Taliban leadership is trying to decide how to open education for girls beyond the sixth grade nationwide. Kathy Gannon, chicagotribune.com, 23 Mar. 2022 But George—who during that war changed his dynasty’s name from Saxe-Coburg to Windsor in an attempt to disown its German origins—was more secure than ever. Geoffrey Wheatcroft, The New York Review of Books, 7 Oct. 2021 Kiran is mindful that her parents, who were told by village elders to disown her older sister in India for marrying outside their caste, will be vehemently opposed to her new relationship. Stefanie Milligan, The Christian Science Monitor, 14 Feb. 2022 The state party not only censured her but adopted a resolution to effectively disown her. New York Times, 9 Feb. 2022 And for young people who had grown up in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there was a fear that their families would disown them if they were outed, Malin remembers. The Salt Lake Tribune, 11 Jan. 2022 Many transgender people worry that their families will disown them. Laken Brooks, Forbes, 15 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of disown

1630, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Cite this Entry

“Disown.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disown. Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for disown


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? It's Me, Margaret.

More from Merriam-Webster on disown

Nglish: Translation of disown for Spanish Speakers


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