\ ˈōn How to pronounce own (audio) \

Definition of own

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : belonging to oneself or itself usually used following a possessive case or possessive adjective cooked my own dinnerwas responsible for his own bad luck
2 used to express immediate or direct kinship an own sonan own sistermy own family


owned; owning; owns

Definition of own (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to have or hold as property : possess
b : to have power or mastery over wanted to own his own life
2 : to acknowledge to be true, valid, or as claimed : admit own a debt

intransitive verb

: to acknowledge something to be true, valid, or as claimed used with to or up

Definition of own (Entry 3 of 3)

: one or ones belonging to oneself used after a possessive and without a following noun gave out books so that each of us had our owna room of your own
on one's own
1 : for or by oneself : independently of assistance or control made the decision on his own
2 : left to rely entirely on one's own resources if you mess up, you're on your own

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for own

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for own


acknowledge, admit, own, avow, confess mean to disclose against one's will or inclination. 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

Verb 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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Airborne divisions were used on a scale that dwarfed the German landings at Crete and our own in Sicily. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, 6 June 2021 But Durant immediately answered with four straight of his own and Irving assisted a Mike James layup to stretch the lead to 109-93. Jim Owczarski, USA TODAY, 6 June 2021 Have Social Security questions of your own you’d like answered? Laurence Kotlikoff, Forbes, 6 June 2021 The views expressed in this commentary are their own. Michael Breen And Michele Heisler, CNN, 5 June 2021 Such outcomes have prompted some calls for the city of Los Angeles to break away from the county health department and establish its own, as is the case for the cities of Pasadena and Long Beach. Jaclyn Cosgrove, Los Angeles Times, 5 June 2021 The two sides of the river are one community, and the nurses protect their own. Erica Davies, CBS News, 5 June 2021 Many of these exemplary jokes work nicely, but quite a few are lost in the lapse of the two millennia between the ancient world and our own, and these require explanation in Michael Fontaine’s footnotes. Joseph Epstein, WSJ, 4 June 2021 In certain species, previous exposure to other babies is a prerequisite for a mother to successfully care for her own. Washington Post, 4 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Investors who own a cybersecurity ETF likely won’t need more than one, Mr. Johnson says. Cheryl Winokur Munk, WSJ, 7 June 2021 The final price tag remains unknown: The Great American Songbook Foundation reached the deal for the 107-acre estate with Gradison Land Development, of Indianapolis, and the anonymous mansion purchaser, who will also own 20-acres around the home. Alexandria Burris, The Indianapolis Star, 5 June 2021 Koivunen has been working with Paul and Elizabeth Pluskwik, who own a home in Virginia, for about a year. Jim Buchta, Star Tribune, 5 June 2021 Parents who own either item are urged to stop using them and contact Fisher-Price for a refund. Minyvonne Burke, NBC News, 4 June 2021 Earlier this year, Grant Knoll and Dan Nielsen, farmers who own land within the Klamath Project bought property directly adjacent to the canal and are threatening to breach the headgates themselves. oregonlive, 3 June 2021 Sometime in the last week, the owners of the building, who also own the Golden Star Café, and allowed the building to deteriorate, rented a piece of large equipment. Elaine Ayala, San Antonio Express-News, 2 June 2021 Users who already own Nik Collection 3 by DxO or a previous version can upgrade their software by signing into their customer account. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 2 June 2021 This one is just for those who own the Bronco Sport Badlands or First Edition models, or for people with an as yet unfilled order for a two- or four-door Bronco. Clifford Atiyeh, Car and Driver, 2 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'own.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of own


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Pronoun, singular or plural in construction

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for own

Adjective, Verb, and Pronoun, singular or plural in construction

Middle English owen, from Old English āgen; akin to Old High German eigan own, Old Norse eiginn, Old English āgan to possess — more at owe

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about own

Time Traveler for own

Time Traveler

The first known use of own was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for own

Last Updated

8 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Own.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/own. Accessed 12 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for own



English Language Learners Definition of own

 (Entry 1 of 3)

used to say that something belongs or relates to a particular person or thing and to no other always used after a possessive (such as "my," "your," or "their")
used to stress the fact that a person does or makes something without the help of other people always used after a possessive



English Language Learners Definition of own (Entry 2 of 3)

: to have (something) as property : to legally possess (something)
old-fashioned : to admit that something is true



English Language Learners Definition of own (Entry 3 of 3)

: something or someone that belongs or relates to a particular person or thing and to no other


\ ˈōn How to pronounce own (audio) \

Kids Definition of own

 (Entry 1 of 2)

used to show the fact that something belongs to or relates to a particular person or thing and no other I have my own room. The hotel has its own theater.


owned; owning

Kids Definition of own (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to have or hold as property She owns two cars.
2 : to admit that something is true He owned to being scared.

Legal Definition of own

: to have or hold as property especially : to have title to own property

More from Merriam-Webster on own

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for own

Nglish: Translation of own for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of own for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!