dis- +‎ own


  • (UK) IPA(key): /dɪsˈəʊn/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -əʊn


disown (third-person singular simple present disowns, present participle disowning, simple past and past participle disowned)

  1. (transitive) To refuse to own, or to refuse to acknowledge one’s own.
    Lord Capulet and his wife threatened to disown their daughter Juliet if she didn’t go through with marrying Count Paris.
    • 1744, Alexander Shiels, “Period VI.”, in A Hind Let Loose, Edinburgh: Reprinted by R. Drummond and Company, OCLC 723488025, pages 167–168:
      Here is a Proclamation for a Prince: that proclaims him in whoſe name it is emitted [James II of England], to be the greateſt Tyrant that ever lived in the world, and their Revolt who have diſowned him to be the juſteſt that ever was.
  2. (transitive) To repudiate any connection to; to renounce.
    Synonyms: disavow, disclaim; see also Thesaurus:repudiate
    • 1968, Don Covay (lyrics and music), “I'm Gonne Take What He's Got”, in Tell Mama, performed by Etta James:
      He disowns me, and he scorns me / But when we're alone he tells me I'm his very own
  3. (transitive, computing, Unix) To detach (a job or process) so that it can continue to run even when the user who launched it ends his/her login session.

Usage notesEdit

Particularly used of parents regarding their children (although it can also be used between siblings), and stronger than the similar estrange, which can also be used of children regarding their parents, or of siblings.