own·​er·​ship | \ ˈō-nər-ˌship How to pronounce ownership (audio) \

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 The company's relationship with Choice Bank appears to stem from the 2010 ownership stake taken in the bank by Payoneer's founder, Yuval Tal, an Israeli entrepreneur. NBC News, "Secret documents reveal potential dark side of prepaid debit cards," 22 Sep. 2020 Oracle said on Monday that as soon as the new company, TikTok Global, was created, ByteDance would lose its ownership stake in the service. David Mccabe, New York Times, "TikTok Deal Trips Over U.S.-China Power Struggle," 21 Sep. 2020 According to the Times, Oracle would have an ownership stake in the app, but wouldn't own it outright. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Here's Everything You Need to Know About the Possible TikTok Ban," 18 Sep. 2020 In return for a partial ownership stake (unspecified), Friedman Properties is keeping the Italian restaurant afloat and even investing funds into new furniture and an air-purifying filtration system. Ryan Ori, chicagotribune.com, "Whether a restaurant survives the pandemic could depend on an uneasy dance with the landlord," 18 Sep. 2020 The costs associated with pet ownership vary greatly depending on the type and number of pets. Traci Howerton, NOLA.com, "Thinking of getting a pet? Here's rundown of costs you should plan for," 16 Sep. 2020 The company also has an ownership stake in mall chains Forever 21 and Aéropostale and recently reached deals to jointly purchase Lucky Brand Jeans, Brooks Brothers and J.C. Penney. Alexandria Burris, The Indianapolis Star, "Holiday shopping on Thanksgiving Day? Not this year, Simon says," 15 Sep. 2020 With his contract up at the end of the season, Wallace had reportedly talked with Petty officials about an extension that included a partial ownership stake. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, "NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace leaving Richard Petty Motorsports at end of 2020 season," 11 Sep. 2020 Such a trip could be turned into a lesson on pet ownership or feline behavior. Patrick Connolly, orlandosentinel.com, "8 homeschooling field trip ideas to keep kids engaged," 12 Aug. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of ownership

1583, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ownership

Time Traveler for ownership

Time Traveler

The first known use of ownership was in 1583

See more words from the same year

Statistics for ownership

Last Updated

26 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ownership.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ownership. Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ownership


How to pronounce ownership (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ownership

: the state or fact of owning something


own·​er·​ship | \ ˈō-nər-ˌship How to pronounce ownership (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on ownership

What made you want to look up ownership? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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