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

Get our daily newsletter The report disowns Mrs May’s December 2017 promise of no checks anywhere on the island. The Economist, "The search for ways to keep the Irish border open after Brexit," 29 June 2019 Many were disowned by their family, fired from their workplace or dishonorably discharged from the military. Chad Painter, The Conversation, "How the New York media covered the Stonewall riots," 19 June 2019 The report was widely seen as a test of whether the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa would disown the kind of harsh action by security forces that was associated with the long rule of his predecessor, Robert Mugabe. Farai Mutsaka, The Seattle Times, "Zimbabwe inquiry finds army, police killed 6 during protest," 19 Dec. 2018 The panel’s recommendation split its members, some of whom disowned the document, and illustrated the growing concerns in Parliament over the pace of the negotiations. New York Times, BostonGlobe.com, "Lawmakers say Britain should consider delaying EU exit," 18 Mar. 2018 Her parents largely disowned her, and Moïse, who retained custody of Nissim and Béatrice, limited her access to them. James Mcauley, Town & Country, "A Secret Paris Museum and an Aristocratic Family Decimated by the Holocaust," 9 Feb. 2017 In the past few months alone, Army officials debated whether the study should be embraced or disowned. Michael R. Gordon, WSJ, "The Army Stymied Its Own Study of the Iraq War," 22 Oct. 2018 While many onlookers believe the appearance was a stunt, and the Flat Earth Society seemingly disowned Paul’s involvement in the event, Paul’s deference to Mike, who apparently encouraged the YouTube star to attend the conference, is telling. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "Meet the babysitter who helps Logan Paul stay out of trouble on YouTube," 3 Dec. 2018 He was also disowned by parts of the conservative movement after video clips showed him making statements apparently supportive of pedophilia. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Milo Yiannopoulos lasted a single day on Patreon before getting banned," 5 Dec. 2018

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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Statistics for disown

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for disown

The first known use of disown was in 1630

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More Definitions for disown



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with disown

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disown

Spanish Central: Translation of disown

Nglish: Translation of disown for Spanish Speakers

Comments on disown

What made you want to look up disown? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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