Word of the Day : February 17, 2019


verb dis-uh-VOW


1 : to deny responsibility for : repudiate

2 : to refuse to acknowledge or accept : disclaim

Did You Know?

If you trace the etymology of disavow back through Middle English to Anglo-French, you'll arrive eventually at the prefix des- and the verb avouer, meaning "to avow." The prefix des-, in turn, derives from the Latin prefix dis-, meaning "apart." That Latin prefix plays a significant role in many current English words, including disadvantage, disappoint, and disagree. Avouer is from Latin advocare, meaning "to summon," and is also the source of our word advocate.


It seems the college's president is now trying to disavow her previous statements.

"Last week in Beijing, ['Crazy Rich Asians'] director Jon M. Chu essentially disavowed every word in the film's title. 'The film is a satire,' Chu told the state-affiliated Global Times. 'It's not about "crazy rich" or "Asians" actually—it's about the opposite of that. It's about how all those things mean nothing and it comes down to our own relationships and finding love and our own families.'" — Rebecca Davis, Variety, 29 Nov. 2018

Name That Synonym

Unscramble the letters to create a synonym of disavow: TCRETAR.



More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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