own

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

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From Middle English ownen, from Old English āgnian (to own). Cognate with German eignen, Swedish ägna, Icelandic eiga. See also the related term owe.

Verb[edit]

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 possess by right; to have the right of property in; to have the legal right or rightful title to." (Ref 1)
    I own this car.
  2. To claim as one's own; to answer to.
    • 1902, Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Tank Books 2007, p. 25:
      I am sorry to own I began to worry then.
  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. (gaming, slang) To defeat, dominate, or be above, also spelled pwn.
  6. (transitive, computing, slang) To illicitly obtain "super-user" or "root" access into a computer system thereby having access to all of the user files on that system; pwn.
  7. (intransitive) To admit to be true; concede, grant, allow, acknowledge, confess; not to deny.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  8. (intransitive) To acknowledge or admit the possession or ownership of. (Ref 3)
Synonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
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 Help:How to check translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English owen, aȝen, from Old English āgen (own, proper, peculiar), from Proto-Germanic *aiganaz (own), from Proto-Indo-European *eiḱ- (to have, possess). Cognate with Scots ain (own), Dutch eigen (own), German eigen (own), Swedish egen (own), Icelandic eigin (own).

Alternative forms[edit]

  • 'n (informal contraction)

Adjective[edit]

own

  1. Belonging to; possessed; proper to.
    Surprisingly, I realised my own brother had the same idea as me.   You need to find your own seat - this one is mine.   He gave her a pen, because he already had his own.   The restored Maxwell is Bob's own car.   They went this way, but we need to find our own way.   We have made some arrangements, but you will need to make your own.   They were all prepared for the picnic, because they had all brought their own food and plates.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 8, 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, 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”, 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. (obsolete) Peculiar, domestic.
  3. (obsolete) Not foreign.
Usage notes[edit]
  • implying ownership, often with emphasis. It always follows a possessive pronoun, or a noun in the possessive case.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

From Middle English unnen (to favour, grant), from Old English unnan (to grant, allow, recognise, confess), from Proto-Germanic *unnaną (to grant, thank), from Proto-Indo-European *ān- (to notice). Akin to German gönnen (from Old High German gi- + unnan), Old Norse unna (Danish unde)[1]. In Gothic only the substantive 𐌰𐌽𐍃𐍄𐍃 (ansts) is attested.[2]

Verb[edit]

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

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To grant; give.
  2. (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!
  3. (transitive) To recognise; acknowledge.
    to own one as a son
  4. (intransitive, UK dialectal) To confess.
Translations[edit]

Statistics[edit]

References[edit]

  • 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
  • Notes:
  1. ^ own in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
  2. ^ Etymology of the German cognate in Deutsches Wörterbuch

Anagrams[edit]