c. 1200, ounen, ahnen, "to possess, have; rule, be in command of, have authority over;" from Old English geagnian, from root agan "to have, to own" (see owe), and in part from the adjective own (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. From c. 1300 as "to acknowledge, concede, admit as a fact," said especially of things to one's disadvantage. To own up "make full confession" is from 1853. Related: Owned; owning.
"properly or exclusively belonging to one's self or itself," Middle English ouen, from Old English agen, literally "possessed by," from Proto-Germanic *aiganaz "possessed, owned" (source also of Old Saxon egan, Old Frisian egin, Old Norse eiginn, Dutch eigen, German eigen "own"), from past participle of PIE root *aik- "be master of, possess," source of Old English agan "to have" (see owe). Emphatic use after a possessive noun or pronoun is from late Old English. To hold one's own "maintain one's position" is by 1520s.
"one who owns, one who has legal or rightful title," mid-14c., ouner, agent noun from own (v.). The Old English word was agnere.
"the domestic Bos taurus" (commonly meaning the castrated males, used to pull loads or for food), Middle English oxe, from Old English oxa "ox" (plural oxan), from Proto-Germanic *ukhson (source also of Old Norse oxi, Old Frisian oxa, Middle Dutch osse, Old Saxon, Old High German ohso, German Ochse, Gothic auhsa), from PIE *uks-en- "male animal," (source also of Welsh ych "ox," Middle Irish oss "stag," Sanskrit uksa, Avestan uxshan- "ox, bull"), said to be from root *uks- "to sprinkle," related to *ugw- "wet, moist." The animal word, then, is literally "besprinkler."
Also used from late Old English of the wild, undomesticated bovines. The black ox "misfortune, adversity, old age," etc., is by 1540s.
1791, in oxalic acid, a violently poisonous substance found in many plants and used in dyeing, bleaching, and printing, from French oxalique (1787, Lavoisier), literally "of or pertaining to sorrel," from Latin oxalis "sorrel," from Greek oxalis, from oxys "sharp" (from PIE root *ak- "be sharp, rise (out) to a point, pierce"). So called because it occurs in sorrel and was first isolated from it.
also ox-bow, early 14c., ox-boue, "bow-shaped wooden collar for an ox," from ox + bow (n.1). Meaning "semicircular bend in a river" is from 1797, American English (New England), so called from the resemblance of the shape. The meaning "curved lake left after an oxbow meander has been cut off by a change in the river course" is from 1898.