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 Caserta has since disowned her book, blaming her co-writer for its overheated tone, while George-Warren found that Friedman’s work was full of inaccuracies and misperceptions. Jim Farber, EW.com, "How Janis Joplin went from small-town Texas kid to musical pioneer," 21 Oct. 2019 At least multimillionaire techie Andy Yang does not take too seriously the idea of disowning his own privilege. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Our Privileged Scolds," 24 Sep. 2019 There's the man whose wife battles cancer, the woman who's parents disown her for being gay, the deaf man who feels he's less than others, and the trans woman who live her life in constant fear. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Steve Aoki & The Backstreet Boys Prove Love Conquers All With Powerful Video: Watch," 9 Sep. 2019 Yet, like Mongol missives zinging over city walls, the government’s threats are at once serious and a stratagem to frighten Hong Kongers into disowning the protesters and suing for peace. The Economist, "China is using Kublai Khan’s methods to quell protests in Hong Kong," 29 Aug. 2019 Gareth Bale, a man who was seemingly disowned by his manager, was selected to start the game. SI.com, "Twitter Reacts as Gareth Bale Stars & Toni Kroos Scores Stunner in Real Madrid Win," 17 Aug. 2019 Trump's lawyer, Charles Harder, had written to NBC Wednesday afternoon, saying the story was false and defamatory and threatening legal action if it wasn't disowned. CBS News, "MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell retracts story on Trump finances after Trump lawyers threaten to sue," 29 Aug. 2019 In 1931 the Tories joined a national government under the Labour prime minister, Ramsay MacDonald, but he was then disowned by his own party. The Economist, "Why governments of national unity are so hard to form," 29 Aug. 2019 The problem is, my husband and son have all but disowned me. Dear Abby, oregonlive.com, "Dear Abby: Mother-in-law monopolizes husband and son after loss of family member," 16 Aug. 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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Statistics for disown

Last Updated

11 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for disown

The first known use of disown was in 1630

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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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