\ 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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for own

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective So why aren’t Trig and Imani (the latter of whom really does have a wonderful can-do spirit) tapping into some of those resources instead of shouldering this all on their own? Nina Metz, chicagotribune.com, 12 July 2021 That’s true even if the employee acted on her own, as Young did in writing her letter. Harris Meyer — Kaiser Health News, STAT, 12 July 2021 Lola is the most resistant to rejoin the Tune Squad, having branched out on her own and become a member of the Amazons, with Wonder Woman serving as one of the film's uses of the WB catalog. Derek Lawrence, EW.com, 12 July 2021 Even with more permissive zoning, ADUs won’t come close to solving the region’s housing crunch on their own. BostonGlobe.com, 12 July 2021 Having already issued a series of executive actions but powerless to do much more on his own, Biden again on Monday called for Congress to pass gun legislation. Jonathan Lemire, Star Tribune, 12 July 2021 But Green split off, and started shopping on her own. Christine Condon, baltimoresun.com, 12 July 2021 Jackson, who is retired and receives social security checks, could not afford to fix the roof on his own. Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11 July 2021 The Outlaws will be playing from their own home, so only the Fuel will be presented to the audience. Dallas News, 9 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The city of Mesa does not own or operate any electric generators and purchases its electric supply through various short- and long-term agreements. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 8 July 2021 In essence, the industry’s new data providers, the companies that own first-party data, are the ones who will likely benefit the most from these new regulations. Yuni Sameshima, Forbes, 6 July 2021 The company is a business entity encompassing hundreds of firms and partnerships that own or manage office buildings, hotels, residential towers, golf clubs, branding rights, licensing deals and other assets around the world. Bernard Condon, ajc, 2 July 2021 While his family didn’t own a farm, his father managed them. Terry Pluto, cleveland, 2 July 2021 In an unusual carve-out, the state exempts companies that own and operate a theme park. Jacob Gershman, WSJ, 1 July 2021 Acting Mayor Kim Janey has paid her property taxes on time and does not own a car, according to records obtained through the state open record law. BostonGlobe.com, 1 July 2021 The Getty did not own a hyperspectral camera, so Dr. Delaney came to help. New York Times, 28 June 2021 Those homes are often held by limited liability corporations and partnerships with names that don't match the name of the private-equity firms and others that actually own the properties. Jim Buchta, Star Tribune, 27 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.

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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

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Time Traveler for own

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for own

Last Updated

14 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Own.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/own. Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

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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.


transitive verb

Legal Definition of own

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

More from Merriam-Webster on own

Nglish: Translation of own for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of own for Arabic Speakers


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