from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To refuse to acknowledge or accept as one's own; repudiate.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To refuse to acknowledge as belonging or pertaining to one's self; deny the ownership of or responsibility for; not to own or acknowledge; repudiate.
  • To deny; not to allow; refuse to admit.
  • Specifically, in the Society of Friends, to remove from membership; dismiss.
  • Synonyms To disavow, disclaim, disallow, renounce.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To refuse to own or acknowledge as belonging to one's self; to disavow or deny, as connected with one's self personally
  • transitive verb To refuse to acknowledge or allow; to deny.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To refuse to own or to refuse to acknowledge one’s own.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb cast off
  • verb prevent deliberately (as by making a will) from inheriting


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

dis- +‎ own


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  • Clinton's group of supporters are a people who find it easier to "disown" their own family members if they are upset with them.

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  • I actually think Obama's hesitation to immediately "disown" his former pastor shows backbone and loyalty.

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  • It's a little late for Obama to express such outrage, especially since Wright isn't saying anything new, and especially after Obama told us all that he cannot "disown" Wright.

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  • So, it's no wonder these white voters can say they'll "disown" their own party if Obama is the nominee.

    Obama still struggles with some Democrats 2008

  • I believe that people tend to "disown" their ailments.

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  • Just to be clear, there is a reason that all human beings are capable of psychological projection, which is the emotional technique of attributing one's own unacceptable feelings to someone else in order to 'disown' those feelings.

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  • Hence, where Mr. Obama is concerned, his refusal to "disown" Reverend Wright based on his ludicrous claim that he had not been "present" for any of such sermons makes this an issue of honesty, not race, of political expediency not moral courage.

    Sylvia Welsh: Honesty Not Race, Expediency Not Courage 2008

  • Playing the Race Card and Understanding Who Stacked the Deck yahooBuzzArticleHeadline = 'Playing the Race Card and Understanding Who Stacked the Deck'; yahooBuzzArticleSummary = 'Article: When Barack Obama gave his speech "A More Perfect Union", the public was treated to something different and almost hypnotic; a politician who didn\'t duck the issue, "disown" his pastor for remarks that shocked many Americans.

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  • I couldn't "disown" Wright without disowning half my family, most of my friends, 90% of my acquaintences and almost all public figures who have ever spoken with their conscious or unconscious fears and prejudices and reactions giving voice to painful personal perspectives.

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  • He said that he could no more "disown" his pastor than he could disown "my white grandmother -- a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me."

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  • The transports move stealthily to sea—

    The sea so prone to take strange freightage eagerly—

    But this sad freightage even the sea disowns

    And lifts its storms and frowns in darker mood

    And never was a cargo more adrift …

    There are no ports, no country’s flag, no waiting hands

    In any land on earth for it.

    Nor any home to take it in.

    And all the prisons are too proud.

    - Kathryn White Ryan, 'Deported'.

    September 22, 2009