acknowledge implies the disclosing of something that has been or might be concealed.
acknowledged an earlier peccadillo
admit implies reluctance to disclose, grant, or concede and refers usually to facts rather than their implications.
admitted the project was over budget
own implies acknowledging something in close relation to oneself.
must own I know little about computers
avow implies boldly declaring, often in the face of hostility, what one might be expected to be silent about.
avowed that he was a revolutionary
confess may apply to an admission of a weakness, failure, omission, or guilt.
confessed a weakness for sweets
Examples of own in a Sentence
We hope to someday own our own home.
She drives a red truck that was originally owned by her grandfather.
He owns the rights to the band's music.
The couple owns and operates the business.
After everyone else denied any responsibility, he owned that he was at fault.
Recent Examples on the Web
The two also took tens of millions of public school dollars for their own personal use.—Kristen Taketa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Nov. 2023 But there's a growing contingent of Republicans who'd like Israel aid approved on its own, as the House has already done.—Allison Pecorin, ABC News, 27 Nov. 2023 It was inspired by screenwriter Kelly Younger’s own holiday experiences on Candy Cane Lane in El Segundo, California.—Emily Zemler, Rolling Stone, 27 Nov. 2023 Then a contact card with your email and phone number may pop up on your own device.—Reece Rogers, WIRED, 27 Nov. 2023 And even if your own winter wardrobe is set, these Abercrombie Cyber Monday deals are also ideal for gifting.—Malia Griggs, Glamour, 27 Nov. 2023 Hilton has been open about her own experience of abuse as a teenager.—Heather Hunter, Washington Examiner, 27 Nov. 2023 Its official YouTube channel contains not only live show videos but also behind-the-scenes videos and original music by the project’s own virtual artist, ICQ.—Billboard Japan, Billboard, 27 Nov. 2023 Kelsey Hatcher was born with two uteri, each with its own cervix — a condition known as uterine didelphys.—Natalie Kainz, NBC News, 16 Nov. 2023
The four plants, owned by Astoria Generating Co., will add 505 megawatts (MW) to New York City’s power reserves, which otherwise would have a deficit of 446 MW.—Daniel Markind, Forbes, 28 Nov. 2023 That is something in our philosophy: to be able to go towards the goal, not to own the goal day one, basically.—Laird Borrelli-Persson, Vogue, 28 Nov. 2023 On view from February 10–July 7, 2024, this is the first major exhibition of the world-class collection of multigenerational Black diasporic artists owned by the iconic couple.—Okla Jones, Essence, 28 Nov. 2023 Starlink, which is owned and operated by Musk’s rocket company SpaceX, formally named Space Exploration Technologies Corp., has provided him with the ability to woo world leaders from Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to officials at the Pentagon, by offering essential communications services.—Simon Marks, Fortune, 28 Nov. 2023 Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, declined to comment on the record.—Ken Dilanian, NBC News, 28 Nov. 2023 Reviews editor Adrienne So has owned this blanket for several years.—Nena Farrell, WIRED, 27 Nov. 2023 One of the wedding guests owned a children’s boutique in Los Angeles and asked Ms. Getty to make more.—Jessica Testa, New York Times, 16 Nov. 2023 As of 2021, the top 10,000 Bitcoin investors together owned 5 million bitcoins, or approximately $230 billion—replicating the unequal wealth distribution outside of Bitcoin.—WIRED, 16 Nov. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'own.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Middle English oȝen, owen, awen, going back to Old English āgen, originally past participle of āgan "to possess, own, have" — more at owe
Similar use of the past participle of the cognate verb is evident in other Germanic languages: Old Frisian āin, ēin, ēgen "own," Old Saxon ēgan, Middle Dutch ēghin, eighen, Old High German eigan, Old Icelandic eiginn.
This verb is apparently unattested before the late sixteenth century, and is not continuous with early Middle English æȝenen, ahnen, ahnien (Layamon's Brut,Ormulum) "to gain control of, have possession of," going back to Old English āgnian "to own, possess, take possession of" (with parallel forms in other Germanic languages), a derivative of āgenown entry 1. Compare owner, from which own may be in part a back-formation.
Middle English owne, going back to Old English āgen, nominalized form of āgenown entry 1
First Known Use
before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1