Definitions

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

  • adj. Of or belonging to oneself or itself: She makes her own clothes.
  • n. That which belongs to one: I wanted a room of my own.
  • transitive v. To have or possess as property: owns a chain of restaurants.
  • transitive v. To have control over: For a time, enemy planes owned the skies.
  • transitive v. To admit as being in accordance with fact, truth, or a claim; acknowledge.
  • intransitive v. To make a full confession or acknowledgment: When confronted with the evidence the thief owned up. See Synonyms at acknowledge.
  • idiom on (one's) own By one's own efforts: She got the job on her own.
  • idiom on (one's) own Responsible for oneself; independent of outside help or control: He is now out of college and on his own.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To grant; to acknowledge; to admit to be true; to confess; to recognize in a particular character.
  • adj. 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
  • transitive v. To hold as property; to have a legal or rightful title to; to be the proprietor or possessor of; to possess.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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

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

Etymologies

Middle English owen, from Old English āgen.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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"). (Wiktionary)
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.[2] (Wiktionary)

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'

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • "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, Part 1 of 4

  • It starts as the assertion of any desire; it ends as _the organization of one's own desires into a system of desires recognized as superior and then made one's own_.

    Introduction to the Science of Sociology

  • Why should I dissemble my own belief that the 'Drama' is worth two or three 'Seraphims' -- _my own_ belief, you know, which is worth nothing, writers knowing themselves so superficially, and having such a natural leaning to their last work.

    The Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1 of 2)

  • This is especially true of «suus, - a, - um», which, when inserted, is more or less emphatic, like our _his own, her own_, etc.

    Latin for Beginners

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