[ puh-zes ]
/ p??z?s /
verb (used with object)
to have as belonging to one; have as property; own: to possess a house and a car.
to have as a faculty, quality, or the like: to possess courage.
(of a spirit, especially an evil one) to occupy, dominate, or control (a person) from within: He thought he was possessed by devils.
(of a feeling, idea, etc.) to dominate or actuate in the manner of such a spirit: He was possessed by envy.
(of a man) to succeed in having sexual intercourse with.
to have knowledge of: to possess a language.
to keep or maintain (oneself, one's mind, etc.) in a certain state, as of peace, patience, etc.
to maintain control over (oneself, one's mind, etc.).
to impart to; inform; familiarize (often followed by of or with): to possess someone of the facts of the case.
to cause to be dominated or influenced, as by an idea, feeling, etc.
to make (someone) owner, holder, or master, as of property, information, etc.: He possessed them of the facts.
to seize or take.
to gain or win.
to occupy or hold.
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Origin of possess
142575; late Middle English possesen
synonym study for possess
1. See have.
OTHER WORDS FROM possess
pos·ses·sor, nounpos·ses·sor·ship, nounun·der·pos·ses·sor, nounun·pos·sess·ing, adjective
Words nearby possess
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
Words related to possess
Example sentences from the Web for possess
That thing we seemed to possess was not the other, but an image of them we formedthey themselves are still free.
I know that many people do not feel they possess their partners and lovers.
The Fish and Wildlife officer told him that it was illegal to possess a protected species or a raptor.
We attribute his successes or failures to the presence or lack of some special sauce that he does or does not possess.
And it is conjecture, based on the sketchy bits of evidence we possess.
Is Brooklyn Becoming Unsafe for Gays? It Depends On Which Ones|Jay Michaelson|October 18, 2014|DAILY BEAST
All the honours which a physician can possess I either enjoy, or have refused when they were offered to me.
Jerome Cardan|William George Waters
No one of the members of these four classes is known to possess vibratile cilia.
Marvels of Pond-life|Henry J. Slack
No man should allow himself to recommend another for qualities which he knows he does not possess.
The Book of Business Etiquette|Nella Henney
The senses are the only channels to the external world which we possess, and love must come through these channels or not at all.
Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 6 (of 6)|Havelock Ellis
So often I borrow trouble and cannot use it, when the peace that I possess is all that I need.
Leaves of Life|Margaret Bird Steinmetz
British Dictionary definitions for possess
/ (p??z?s) /
to have as one's property; own
to have as a quality, faculty, characteristic, etcto possess good eyesight
to have knowledge or mastery ofto possess a little French
to gain control over or dominatewhatever possessed you to act so foolishly?
(foll by of) to cause to be the owner or possessorI am possessed of the necessary information
(often foll by with) to cause to be influenced or dominated (by)the news possessed him with anger
to have sexual intercourse with
rare to keep control over or maintain (oneself or one's feelings) in a certain state or conditionpossess yourself in patience until I tell you the news
archaic to gain or seize
Derived forms of possess
Word Origin for possess
C15: from Old French possesser, from Latin possid?re to own, occupy; related to Latin sed?re to sit
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012