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 With direct conversations and some coaching, this is a good chance for teens and preteens to step into new responsibilities at home and take ownership of their own learning. Marisa Porges, New York Times, "Schools Are Closing for Coronavirus. Now What?," 17 Mar. 2020 By projecting a sense of ownership over service members, Trump has ushered them into the political arena – which the framers warned against and the military has studiously avoided for more than two centuries. Dwight Stirling, The Conversation, "Trump treats the military as his own – and the troops could suffer," 2 Mar. 2020 The aftermath The protests continued for about a month after the ownership change, but eventually faded away. oregonlive, "Korean liquor store. Black neighborhood. A quarter of a century after the LA riots, misgivings still run deep," 23 Feb. 2020 Bucyrus took ownership of the building in 1910 and used it as a machine shop and steam engine assembly shop and later as an employee club. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The Bucyrus Club, a new banquet hall, is coming to downtown South Milwaukee thanks to a $2 million gift," 20 Feb. 2020 The league would have a lot of guaranteed money for the players and include a team concept that would provide ownership stakes for 12 players who would captain four-man teams. Steve Dimeglio, Golfweek, "'For me, I'm out': Rory McIlroy not sold on Premier Golf League," 19 Feb. 2020 The announcement will come less than six weeks after Penske officially took ownership. Nathan Brown, Indianapolis Star, "What will be on Roger Penske's top 10 list for IMS, 2020 Indy 500?: 'When Penske Corp. does something, they do it right'," 13 Feb. 2020 Many recent Hollywood accounting lawsuits — and even the WGA's ongoing battle with talent agencies over their ownership stakes in content — speak to discomfort with the close alignment of the industry's power brokers. Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Trump's Enforcer: Meet the Man Who Holds Hollywood and Silicon Valley's Future in His Hands," 12 Feb. 2020 Time, after a series of ownership changes and many cuts, was acquired by Marc Benioff, founder of Salesforce.com, for $190 million in 2018. Nicholas Lemann, The New York Review of Books, "Can Journalism Be Saved?," 11 Feb. 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.

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First Known Use of ownership

1583, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for ownership

Time Traveler

The first known use of ownership was in 1583

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Statistics for ownership

Last Updated

28 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ownership.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ownership. Accessed 30 Mar. 2020.

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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

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