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

Our fans should be proud, our ownership should be proud, our staff and everyone involved. Richard Morin, azcentral, "Arizona Coyotes' improved reputation among 5 observations after the opening of free agency," 2 July 2018 But this is what their ownership and front office wanted, a total tank job, so judging on that criteria, mission accomplished. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "Rangers Reaction: Growing group believes Beltre would nix a trade," 1 July 2018 Beyoncé and Jay Z, unabashed lovers of capitalism, are establishing their ownership of all of this. Kaitlyn Greenidge, Glamour, "In the Louvre, Beyoncé Proves There's Power in Repurposing Art History," 18 June 2018 His ownership lasted until 2015, when Tribune Publishing, later renamed Tronc, bought the newspaper for $85 million. John Wilkens, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Soon-Shiong's purchase of Union-Tribune, L.A. Times nears completion," 16 June 2018 Olive then sends a letter about his ownership and a bill. L.m. Sixel, Houston Chronicle, "UH can be sued for using photo, judge rules," 14 June 2018 In 1971, Attorney General John Mitchell was preparing to file an antitrust suit against the three largest TV networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) over their monopoly ownership of prime-time TV shows. Felix Gillette, Bloomberg.com, "Get Ready for Big Media to Get Bigger After AT&T Victory," 13 June 2018 Three years after that title, Jerry was forced out of his Diamondbacks ownership, and azcentral sports’ Nick Piecoro detailed those odd circumstances in 2014. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Bryan Colangelo's resignation brings back memories of Jerry Colangelo's ousting in Arizona," 7 June 2018 The lawsuit contends that Biglari has led the company to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the Lion Funds, which uses the money to buy shares of Biglari Holdings, thereby increasing his ownership of company stock. Richard Webner, San Antonio Express-News, "Biglari company hit with federal fine for lack of public disclosure," 1 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

8 Nov 2018

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).


something that serves to warn or remind

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