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own definition


This page has 18 definitions of own in English and Portuguese. Own is an adjective, verb and interjection. Examples of how to use own in a sentence are shown. Also define these 30 related words and terms: belong, possess, proper, share, peculiar, domestic, foreign, rightful, possession, property, goods, capital, legal, title, enslave, online, gaming, pwn, computing, superuser, root, admit, concede, grant, allow, acknowledge, confess, responsibility, recognise, and aw.

English own definition


Etymology 1

From Middle English owen, aȝen, from Old English āgen (own, proper, peculiar), from Proto-West Germanic *aigan (own), from Proto-Germanic *aiganaz (own), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂eyḱ- (to have, possess).

Alternative forms

  • 'n (informal contraction)



  1. Belonging to; possessed; proper to. Often marks a possessive determiner as reflexive, referring back to the subject of the clause or sentence.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], OCLC 964384981, Deuteronomy 24:16:
      The fathers shall not bee put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: euery man shall be put to death for his owne sinne.
    • 1610–1611, William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene i], page 14:
      Prospero: Fairely ſpoke ; / Sit then, and talke with her, ſhe is thine owne ;
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 8, in The Celebrity:
      I corralled the judge, and we started off across the fields, in no very mild state of fear of that gentleman's wife, whose vigilance was seldom relaxed. And thus we came by a circuitous route to Mohair, the judge occupied by his own guilty thoughts, and I by others not less disturbing.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 10, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      He looked round the poor room, at the distempered walls, and the bad engravings in meretricious frames, the crinkly paper and wax flowers on the chiffonier; and he thought of a room like Father Bryan's, with panelling, with cut glass, with tulips in silver pots, such a room as he had hoped to have for his own.
    • 2013 June 21, Oliver Burkeman, “The tao of tech”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 2, page 27:
      The dirty secret of the internet is that all this distraction and interruption is immensely profitable. Web companies like to boast about […], or offering services that let you [] "share the things you love with the world" and so on. But the real way to build a successful online business is to be better than your rivals at undermining people's control of their own attention.
  2. Not shared
    When we move into the new house, the kids will each have their own bedroom.
  3. (obsolete) Peculiar, domestic.
  4. (obsolete) Not foreign.
    • Foreign definition
      Located outside a country or place, especially one's own. (1 of 9 foreign definitions)
Usage notes
  • Often used for implication of ownership, often with emphasis. In modern usage, it always follows a possessive determiner, or a noun in the possessive case.
Derived terms

Etymology 2

A back-formation from owner, owning and own (adjective). Compare Old English āgnian, Dutch eigenen, German eignen, Swedish ägna.


own (third-person singular simple present owns, present participle owning, simple past and past participle owned)

  1. (transitive) To have rightful possession of (property, goods or capital); to have legal title to.
    I own this car.
    • Rightful definition
      By right; by law.
  2. (transitive) To have recognized political sovereignty over a place, territory, as distinct from the ordinary connotation of property ownership.
    The United States owns Point Roberts by the terms of the Treaty of Oregon.
  3. (transitive) To defeat or embarrass; to overwhelm.
    I will own my enemies.
    If he wins, he will own you.
  4. (transitive) To virtually or figuratively enslave.
  5. (online gaming, slang) To defeat, dominate, or be above, also spelled pwn.
    • Pwn definition
      To own, to defeat or dominate (someone or something, especially a game or someone playing a game).
  6. (transitive, computing, slang) To illicitly obtain superuser or root access to a computer system, thereby having access to all of the user files on that system; pwn.
    • 1996 June 21, The Happiest Dragon Alive!!, “Re: An unusual situation”, in , Usenet[1], retrieved 2016-09-24, message-ID <4qe8pc$8ti@nerd.apk.net>:
      "TH15 5Y5T3M 15 0WN3D"
  7. (intransitive) To admit, concede, grant, allow, acknowledge, confess; not to deny.
    • 1895, Kenneth Graham, The Golden Age, London, page 6:
      For instance, when I flung the cat out of an upper window (though I did it from no ill-feeling, and it didn't hurt the cat), I was ready, after a moment's reflection, to own I was wrong, as a gentleman should.
    • 1899 February, Joseph Conrad, “The Heart of Darkness”, in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, volume CLXV, number M, New York, N.Y.: The Leonard Scott Publishing Company, [], OCLC 1042815524, part I:
      I am sorry to own I began to worry then.
    • 1913, D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, chapter 5
      They learned how perfectly peaceful the home could be. And they almost regretted—though none of them would have owned to such callousness—that their father was soon coming back.
    • Acknowledge definition
      To admit the knowledge of; to recognize as a fact or truth; to declare one's belief in (1 of 5 acknowledge definitions)
    • Confess definition
      To admit to the truth, particularly in the context of sins or crimes committed. (1 of 5 confess definitions)
  8. (transitive) To admit; concede; acknowledge.
    • 1611, Shakespeare, The Tempest, v.:
      Two of those fellows you must know and own.
    • 1843, Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present, book 2, ch. 1, Jocelin of Brakelond
      It must be owned, the good Jocelin, spite of his beautiful childlike character, is but an altogether imperfect 'mirror' of these old-world things!
  9. (transitive) To take responsibility for.
  10. (transitive) To answer to.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick:
      I own thy speechless, placeless power; but to the last gasp of my earthquake life will dispute its unconditional, unintegral mastery in me.
  11. (transitive) To recognise; acknowledge.
    to own one as a son
    • Recognise definition
      Alternative form of recognize
  12. (transitive) To claim as one's own.
  13. (intransitive, Britain dialectal) To confess.
Derived terms
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.


  • 1896, Universal Dictionary of the English Language [UDEL], v3 p3429:
    To possess by right; to have the right of property in; to have the legal right or rightful title to.
  • 1896, ibid., UDEL
  • 1896, ibid., UDEL
  • 1896, ibid., UDEL


Portuguese own definition



  1. aw (used to express affection)
    • Aw definition
      Used to express disappointment or dismay. (1 of 3 aw definitions)


For quotations using this term, see Citations:own.