To disown someone is to reject them. If you disown your brother, you refuse to have anything to do with him: not only do you not speak or have contact, but it's as if he's no longer related to you.

When one person disowns another, it's because of some terrible argument or deep-rooted conflict. Although it's uncommon to disown another person, when it happens it's usually a family member who's cast off. Your mom might threaten to disown you after you drive her car into the mailbox, but she's probably not serious. Disown takes the root word own, meaning "to have or to hold," and adds the Latin prefix dis, "not" or "do the opposite of."

Definitions of disown

v cast off

renounce, repudiate
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apostatise, apostatize, tergiversate
abandon one's beliefs or allegiances
abjure, forswear, recant, resile, retract
formally reject or disavow a formerly held belief, usually under pressure
swallow, take back, unsay, withdraw
take back what one has said
rebut, refute
overthrow by argument, evidence, or proof
refuse to accept or believe
deny or renounce
contradict, controvert, oppose
be resistant to
give a defence or refutation of (a charge) or in (an argument)
Type of:
refuse to accept or acknowledge

v prevent deliberately (as by making a will) from inheriting

bequeath, leave, will
leave or give by will after one's death
leave, leave behind
be survived by after one's death
give, impart, leave, pass on
transmit (knowledge or skills)
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Type of:
keep from having, keeping, or obtaining

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