Definition of disavow in English:



  • Deny any responsibility or support for.

    ‘the union leaders resisted pressure to disavow picket-line violence’
    • ‘The keyhole supposedly provides a kind of voyeuristic pleasure in observing while being unobserved, but this pleasure is predicated on disavowing the possibility that the object of spectatorship is aware of your gaze.’
    • ‘In light of my research into the Reagan administration's democracy promotion policies, I have long been concerned that conservatives would pay lip service to democratization while disavowing it in practice.’
    • ‘The bottom line: both ABC News and the Washington Post are now disavowing any claim that the alleged ‘talking points memo’ was authored by a Republican, let alone that it was some kind of official Republican strategy memo.’
    • ‘The incoming chair has the opportunity to establish a new learning history with these faculty members by disavowing the relevance of the past issues and introducing new, achievable expectations.’
    • ‘Many became ill and suffered permanent symptoms, but the government disavowed responsibility for them because they were civilians.’
    • ‘Unlike many, Bunyan didn't end up disavowing the hippie philosophy.’
    • ‘But it isn't just the hard right that's disavowing Wilson.’
    • ‘So, while not disavowing the memo should your Democratic staff on the select committee be taking that as a straightforward admonition?’
    • ‘I detect a David Lynchian coyness here - Lynch is famous for disavowing any complex or psychologized readings of his work.’
    • ‘In the election of 1920, the nation chose to elevate Warren G. Harding and his gang of crooked friends to power, disavowing Wilson, the League, and the Treaty of Versailles.’
    • ‘The child copes by disavowing her earlier German-Jewish identity by becoming English and changing her name to Evelyn.’
    • ‘Wilson he was forced to lie and the diocese produces a signed statement disavowing his involvement in the letter.’
    • ‘The least interesting aspect of this article is where it tautologically notes that Blair is disavowing such a connection.’
    • ‘The mainstream Mormon church has disavowed it.’
    • ‘Murray isn't really backing off; she says that her remarks were ‘off the cuff,’ but hasn't disavowed them.’
    • ‘As an artist, he has knowingly signed forged drawings and disavows responsibility for his sometimes salacious subject matter.’
    • ‘Trans Continental claims a Superior Court judge had approved the contract when it was signed - therefore, it cannot be disavowed now.’
    • ‘Well in that case, Mr Annan, you'd better start by disavowing yourself and your odious organisation.’
    • ‘Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, its advocates are now increasingly disavowing any intention of adding intelligent design to science curricula.’
    • ‘What's more, Clark added, ‘the administration's never disavowed this intent.’’
    deny, disclaim, disown, wash one's hands of
    reject, repudiate
    contradict, rebut, abjure, renounce, forswear, eschew
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Late Middle English: from Old French desavouer.