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

the owner of the building will have to decide whether or not to sell
Recent Examples on the Web It was last sold in 2019 for $2.3 million to its current owners, Richard and Kristine Kim. Wendy Bowman, Robb Report, 21 May 2024 The park has been described by visitors as magical — but because it’s surrounded by private land whose owners won’t allow access, most people can’t get get there. Sammy Roth, Los Angeles Times, 21 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for owner 

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 26 May. 2024.

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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