Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

own - definition and synonyms

 
 
 
Close
What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

adjective, pronoun     own pronunciation in British English
/əʊn/
Own can be used in the following ways:
as an adjective (after a possessive word and followed by a noun): We grow our own vegetables.It’s the president’s own fault.
as a pronoun (after a possessive word but without a following noun): Many Russians prefer American vodka to their own.
 
  1. 1
    used for showing that something belongs to a particular person or thing and not to any other

    Everyone has their own idea of what democracy means.

    You are free to do what you like in your own home.

    of your own:

    She has two small children of her own.

    A large school like this should really have a bus of its own.

    your very own (=not shared by anyone else):

    The club now has its very own radio station.

  2. 2
    used for showing that something is done or caused by a particular person and not by anyone else

    Alan had always done his own washing and mending.

    If she was disappointed, it was her own fault for expecting too much.

    an achievement that was largely due to Stanley’s own efforts

quiz invitation
BuzzWord

gig economy

an employment concept in which people are paid for each specific, short-term task that they do and don't have conventional contracts of employment

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day

gosling

a young goose

Open Dictionary

fake news

a sensational piece of news which does not map to reality, created to attract attention or damage somebody's reputation

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play