own·​er ˈō-nər How to pronounce owner (audio)
plural owners
: a person who owns something : one who has the legal or rightful title to something : one to whom property belongs
business/property owners
He and his sister are owners of the restaurant.
We were able to return the wallet to its rightful owner.
often used in combination
dog-owners and cat-owners

Examples of owner in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Earlier this year, the home’s owner was listed as Glory of the Snow LLC, managed by Emerald Lake hedge fund manager Dan Lukas and his wife, Anne Jarmain. Emily St. Martin, Los Angeles Times, 9 Sep. 2023 Surprisingly, Consumers Already See Mushrooms as Effective Natural Remedies Business owners should note a sea change in the public’s approach to health. Robert Johnson, Rolling Stone, 8 Sep. 2023 More than 400 residents and business owners have responded so far to a survey that Carroll County’s Technology Services created to gather information about access to broadband internet connections. Sherry Greenfield, Baltimore Sun, 8 Sep. 2023 The price was $520,000 and the new owners took over the house in August. cleveland, 8 Sep. 2023 The revelations in Isaacson’s book have reignited concerns about the influence that SpaceX and Musk, as its owner, wield over the war in Ukraine. Serhii Korolchuk, Washington Post, 8 Sep. 2023 Sigman is facing criminal charges in the girl’s death, including murder, but a wrongful death suit filed last month against the former instructor, the pizza restaurant and its owner is also seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages. Alexis Stevens, ajc, 8 Sep. 2023 Each bears the surname of its owner, Donald J. Trump. Sam Roberts, New York Times, 27 Aug. 2023 Several other cases against Mr. Barker and the producers were settled out of court, decisions Mr. Barker attributed to the show’s owners over the years. Robin Webb, Washington Post, 26 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'owner.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English oȝener, ouner, owener, auner, perhaps continuing Old English āgnere, from āgnian "to own, possess" + -ere -er entry 2 — more at own entry 2

Note: Though this etymology is possible, there is a significant gap between the Old English noun and the first attestation of an owner etymon (oȝener in Dan Michel's Ayenbite of Inwyt, ca. 1340). The modern verb own is unattested before the late sixteenth century, so if the Middle English noun is a new formation, it must be a derivative of the adjective.

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of owner was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near owner

Cite this Entry

“Owner.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/owner. Accessed 3 Oct. 2023.

Legal Definition


: one with an interest in and often dominion over property: as
: legal owner in this entry
: one with the right to exclusive use, control, or possession of property
: a purchaser under a contract for the sale of real property see also equitable owner in this entry
beneficial owner
: one holding a beneficial interest in a trust compare beneficial interest at interest sense 1
: one enjoying the benefit of property of which another is the legal owner was the beneficial owner of property held by the parent corporation
: one who has or shares the power to control the voting or investment of stock was considered the beneficial owner of stock held by her minor children
equitable owner
: one (as a beneficiary of a trust) who is considered to have rights or obligations of an owner regardless of legal title on the ground of equity do not have legal title but, upon execution of the contract, they became equitable owners and have power to sue to protect their landDessen v. Jones, 551 N.E.2d 782 (1990)
legal owner
: one who has legal title to property
broadly : one determined by law to own property
naked owner
in the civil law of Louisiana : an owner of property burdened by a usufruct
record owner
: one who is the owner of property (as land or stock) according to current appropriate records received a tax bill as record owner of the land

called also owner of record

More from Merriam-Webster on owner

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