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Etymology 1

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Old English āgnian. Cognate with German eignen, Swedish ägna.


to own

Third person singular

Simple past

Past participle

Present participle

to own (third-person singular simple present -, present participle -, simple past and past participle -)
  1. (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)
    I own this car.
  2. (transitive) To recognize, to acknowledge responsibility for.
    • 1611, Shakespeare, The Tempest, v.:
    Two of those fellows you must know and own.
  3. To claim as one's own; to answer to.
    • 1902, Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Tank Books 2007, p. 25:
      I am sorry to own I began to worry then.
  4. (transitive) To defeat or embarrass.
    I will own my enemies.
    If he wins, he will own you.
  5. (transitive) To virtually or figuratively enslave.
  6. (transitive, Template loop detected: Template:context 1) To illicitly obtain "super-user" or "root" access into a computer system thereby having access to all of the user files on that system; pwned.
  7. (intransitive) To admit to be true; concede, grant, allow, acknowledge, confess; not to deny; to admit to be true. (Ref 2)
  8. (intransitive) To acknowledge or admit the possession or ownership of. (Ref 3)
Derived terms
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Etymology 2

Old English āgen.



  1. Belonging to; possessed; proper to;
    Surprisingly, I realised my own brother had the same idea as me.
    You need to find your own seat - this one is mine.
    He gave her a pen, because he already had his own.
    The restored Maxwell is Bob's own car.
    They went this way, but we need to find our own way.
    We have made some arrangements, but you will need to make your own.
    They were all prepared for the picnic, because they had all brought their own food and plates.
  2. (obsolete) peculiar, domestic;
  3. (obsolete) not foreign;
Usage notes
  • implying ownership, often with emphasis. It always follows a possessive pronoun, or a noun in the possessive case.


  • 1896, Universal Dictionary of the English Language [UDEL], v3 p3429:
    To possess by right; to have the right of property in; to have the legal right or rightful title to.
  • 1896, ibid., UDEL
  • 1896, ibid., UDEL
  • 1896, ibid., UDEL


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