Definitions

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

  • adjective Of or belonging to oneself or itself.
  • noun That which belongs to one.
  • intransitive verb To have or possess as property.
  • intransitive verb To have control over.
  • intransitive verb To admit as being in accordance with fact, truth, or a claim; acknowledge.
  • intransitive verb To make a full confession or acknowledgment: synonym: acknowledge.
  • idiom (on (one's) own) By one's own efforts.
  • idiom (on (one's) own) Responsible for oneself; independent of outside help or control.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Properly or exclusively belonging to one's self or itself; pertaining to or characteristic of the subject, person or thing; peculiar; proper; exclusive; particular; individual; private: used after a possessive, emphasizing the possession: as, to buy a thing with one's own money; to see a thing with one's own eyes; he was beaten at his own game; mind your own business.
  • [In this sense own is often used elliptically. the noun which it is to be regarded as qualifying being omitted: as, to hold one's own (that is, one's own ground, or one's own cause); a man can do as he likes with his own (that is, his own property, possessions, goods, etc.).
  • Actual: used without a possessive, with to instead before the possessor: as, own brother to some one.
  • To be free to control one's own time.
  • To have or hold as one's own; possess; hold or possess rightfully or legally; nave and enjoy the right of property in; in a general sense, to have: as, to own a large estate, or a part interest in a ship.
  • Synonyms Hold, Occupy, etc. See possess.
  • To grant; give.
  • To admit; concede; acknowledge: as, to own a fault; to own the force of a statement.
  • To recognize; acknowledge: as, to own one as a son.
  • Synonyms Admit, Confess, etc. See acknowledge.
  • To confess: with to: as, to own to a fault.

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

  • transitive verb To grant; to acknowledge; to admit to be true; to confess; to recognize in a particular character.
  • adjective Belonging to; belonging exclusively or especially to; peculiar; -- most frequently following a possessive pronoun, as my, our, thy, your, his, her, its, their, in order to emphasize or intensify the idea of property, peculiar interest, or exclusive ownership
  • adjective to keep or maintain one's possessions; to yield nothing; esp., to suffer no loss or disadvantage in a contest.
  • transitive verb To hold as property; to have a legal or rightful title to; to be the proprietor or possessor of; to possess.

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

  • verb transitive, obsolete To grant; give.
  • verb transitive To admit; concede; acknowledge.
  • verb transitive To recognise; acknowledge.
  • verb intransitive To confess.
  • verb 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)
  • verb To claim as one's own; to answer to.
  • verb transitive To defeat or embarrass; to overwhelm.
  • verb transitive To virtually or figuratively enslave.
  • verb gaming, slang To defeat, dominate, or be above, also spelled pwn.
  • verb 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.
  • verb intransitive To admit to be true; concede, grant, allow, acknowledge, confess; not to deny; to admit to be true. (Ref 2)
  • verb intransitive To acknowledge or admit the possession or ownership of. (Ref 3)
  • adjective Belonging to; possessed; proper to.
  • adjective obsolete Peculiar, domestic.
  • adjective obsolete Not foreign.

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

  • adjective belonging to or on behalf of a specified person (especially yourself); preceded by a possessive
  • verb have ownership or possession of

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English owen, from Old English āgen; see aik- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English unnen ("to favour, grant"), from Old English unnan ("to grant, allow, recognise, confess"), from Proto-Germanic *unnanan (“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). In Gothic only the substantive 𐌰𐌽𐍃𐍄𐍃 (ansts) is attested.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").

Examples

  • Just as homosexuality combined with pre-modern medicine not going to pass on your own genes if you choose not to reproduce is likely to stop the passing on of _your own_ genes, but could improve the survival of those related to you- say you help raise your niece or nephew- asexuality might well improve social fitness.

    Out asexuals.

  • For me, the most intellectually stimulating conversations of the year were with Fellows who spoke not of the most recent book they had read in their field or a lecture they had just heard on the very subject they deal with in their own university, but with those who were trying to relate knowledge and methods gained in some other field to their own….

    An Exchange on 'Veritas at Harvard'

  • The _slave_ never can do this as long as he is a _slave_; whilst he is a "chattel personal" he can own _no_ property; but the time _is to come_ when _every_ man is to sit under _his own_ vine and _his own_ fig-tree, and no domineering driver, or irresponsible master, or irascible mistress, shall make him afraid of the chain or the whip.

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Part 1 of 4

  • The _slave_ never can do this as long as he is a _slave_; whilst he is a "chattel personal" he can own _no_ property; but the time _is to come_ when _every_ man is to sit under _his own_ vine and _his own_ fig-tree, and no domineering driver, or irresponsible master, or irascible mistress, shall make him afraid of the chain or the whip.

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus

  • The _slave_ never can do this as long as he is a _slave_; whilst he is a "chattel personal" he can own _no_ property; but the time _is to come_ when _every_ man is to sit under _his own_ vine and _his own_ fig-tree, and no domineering driver, or irresponsible master, or irascible mistress, shall make him afraid of the chain or the whip.

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Part 1 of 4

  • "So you see, all things considered, it would be much better for you to return to your own people -- ahem -- _own people_," said Mr. Starkweather, with emphasis.

    The Girl from Sunset Ranch Or, Alone in a Great City

  • The _slave_ never can do this as long as he is a _slave_; whilst he is a "chattel personal" he can own _no_ property; but the time _is to come_ when _every_ man is to sit under _his own_ vine and _his own_ fig-tree, and no domineering driver, or irresponsible master, or irascible mistress, shall make him afraid of the chain or the whip.

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus

  • In fact he would have given ten thousand pounds from his own pocket (Kate's plum was _her own_) if he could have invented anything like an excuse for complying with our very natural wishes.

    Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 6

  • She received all attentions from the Royal Family as her due, and knew not how to draw the distinction between what was due to her own merit and what was given by these personages as due to their _own_ high standard of courtesy and compassion.

    The Ladies A Shining Constellation of Wit and Beauty

  • When a pupil makes his own Correlations, every concurrence he uses is a _real_ concurrence to him, and so with his Ins. and Exs. This is a decisive reason why the Pupil should merely look upon my Correlations as models, but make and memorise his _own_ Correlations in all cases, as being more vivid to _him_ and, therefore, more certainly remembered, as well as more effectively strengthening the Memory in both its Stages.

    Assimilative Memory or, How to Attend and Never Forget

Comments

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  • For my part, I own, madam, wit loses its respect with me, when I see it in company with malice.

    Sheridan, School for Scandal

    January 6, 2008