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

In turn, Niantic will retain ownership over its technology and the Real World Platform, as well as any other resources provided to you during the contest. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Pokémon Go creators launch AR-game contest that (nearly) resembles American Idol," 21 Dec. 2018 No Maroons banners from 1935, or a prior title in 1926, even though both teams once shared the fabled Montreal Forum and even briefly had the same ownership. Geoff Baker, The Seattle Times, "Reviving ‘Metropolitans’ name for NHL could work, but might want to skip that 1917 Stanley Cup banner," 15 Oct. 2018 In Gordon, the grande dame of American fashion has selected a successor on her terms, a polite young man from Atlanta who is shrewdly respectful of her sense of ownership over a label that still bears her name. Erik Maza, Town & Country, "Meet Wes Gordon, the Young Man Leading the Next Chapter of Carolina Herrera," 8 Aug. 2018 Sandra Fry, bicycle and pedestrian coordinator for the city’s planning department, said LimeBike has helped satisfy the demand for bicycles in Hartford, which has low car ownership. Maya Moore, Courant Community, "LimeBike Expands In Hartford As City Plans For More Bikes On Streets," 27 June 2018 Legend, who has ownership in his wine collaboration (which now includes a Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and red blend), says his wine-making goes beyond a branding exercise. Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY, "John Legend on Trump's border policy, baby Miles and his new summer rosé," 22 June 2018 The last time a league had sole ownership of at least the three best records in the majors was 2007. Michael Beller, SI.com, "The Table Setter: Marcell Ozuna Is On Fire," 18 June 2018 Companies seem to take an attitude of ownership over people’s data and view securing fully informed consent as more optional than obligatory. BostonGlobe.com, "What Facebook can learn from academia about protecting privacy," 15 June 2018 People will have more ownership of their own future. The Christian Science Monitor, "A summit that may pop fear in North Korea," 12 June 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

18 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ownership

The first known use of ownership was in 1583

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More Definitions for ownership



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

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


a complex dispute or argument

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