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- (transitive) To strongly and solemnly refuse to own or acknowledge; to deny responsibility for, approbation of, and the like.
- (transitive) To deny; to show the contrary of; to deny legitimacy or achievement of any kind.
- 1809 — James Madison, First State of the Union address
- These considerations not having restrained the British Government from disavowing the arrangement by virtue of which its orders in council were to be revoked, and the event authorizing the renewal of commercial intercourse having thus not taken place, it necessarily became a question of equal urgency and importance whether the act prohibiting that intercourse was not to be considered as remaining in legal force.
- 1884 — Edwin Abbott Abbott, Flatland
- In a still more obscure passage he now desires to disavow the Circular or aristocratic tendencies with which some critics have naturally credited him.
- 1901 — H. G. Wells, The First Men in the Moon, ch 12
- It came to me as an absolute, for a moment an overwhelming shock. It seemed as though it wasn't a face, as though it must needs be a mask, a horror, a deformity, that would presently be disavowed or explained.
to refuse to own or acknowledge
to deny or show the contrary of