evolved in early M.E. from O.E. geagnian
, from root agan
"to have, to own" (see own
), and in part from own (adj.)
(q.v.). It became obsolete after c.1300, but was revived early 17c., in part as a back-formation of owner
(mid-14c.), which continued. To own up
"make full confession" is from 1853.