own·er·ship | \ ˈō-nər-ˌship \

Definition of ownership 

1 : the state, relation, or fact of being an owner

2 : a group or organization of owners

Examples of ownership in a Sentence

The company is under private ownership.

Recent Examples on the Web

But a star’s fans often feel a sense of ownership, too. The Economist, "What if AI made actors immortal?," 5 July 2018 Godejohn took ownership of Samson initially but has since been placed in another home. Mikaela Porter, courant.com, "East Haven Police Arrest New Haven Woman For Animal Cruelty," 18 May 2018 Trump is the first modern U.S. leader to maintain ownership and control over his private enterprises while in office, sparking concerns from ethics watchdogs. BostonGlobe.com, "Trump arrives in Scotland for weekend at golf course," 13 July 2018 The developer will retain ownership of 105 spaces of the upper story for exclusive use of the hotel. Karen Huppertz, ajc, "Duluth approves additional funds for downtown parking facility," 13 July 2018 In Vietnam’s south, its economic heartland, collectivisation of farms and factories lasted just ten years before private ownership was restored. The Economist, "Is North Korea the next Vietnam? Don’t count on it," 12 July 2018 Combining all of the new mom’s profits, Forbes estimates the brand alone is worth nearly $800 million, which Kylie maintains sole ownership of. Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, "Travis Scott 'Can't Be More Proud' of Kylie Jenner's 'Billionaire' Forbes Cover Amid Backlash," 12 July 2018 To resolve long-standing concerns about municipal ownership of the entire course, the town took the 1.3-acre parcel from the Carlsons in 2011, using its power of eminent domain. Jesse Leavenworth, Courant Community, "Housing Development Proposed In Manchester Near Glastonbury Line," 12 July 2018 Disney agreed to sell the networks as a stipulation from the Justice Department so as to avoid an anti-competitive situation given the company’s ownership of ESPN. Jacob Feldman, SI.com, "Five Potential Buyers for Fox's 22 Regional Sports Networks," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ownership.' 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 ownership

1583, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for ownership

Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ownership

The first known use of ownership was in 1583

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English Language Learners Definition of ownership

: the state or fact of owning something


own·er·ship | \ ˈō-nər-ˌship \

Kids Definition of ownership

: the state or fact of owning something home ownership



Legal Definition of ownership 

: the state, relation, or fact of being an owner also : the rights or interests of an owner

absolute ownership

: ownership especially by a single person that is free of any encumbrances or limitations other than statutory law — compare fee simple absolute at fee simple

ostensible ownership \ä-ˈsten-sə-bəl- \

: ownership that is apparent rather than actual and that sometimes is recognized in cases of purchase of the property by an innocent third party a dispute arising from the dealer's ostensible ownership and sale of the collateral

Note: A purchaser from a person with ostensible ownership of property may be able to defeat the claim to the property of the actual owner who created the ostensible ownership.

ownership in indivision

in the civil law of Louisiana : ownership by two or more persons each having undivided shares in the property as a whole — compare community property at property

qualified ownership

: ownership that is limited by time, the interest of another party, or restrictions on the use of the property had only qualified ownership of the fish and game on his property due to state restrictions

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Comments on ownership

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characteristic trappings or dress

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