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pos·?sess | p?-?zesHow to pronounce possess (audio)also -?sesHow to pronounce possess (audio)

possessed; possessing; possesses

transitive verb

1a : to have and hold as property : own

b : to have as an attribute, knowledge, or skill

2a : to seize and take control of : take into one's possession

b : to enter into and control firmly : dominate was possessed by demons

c : to bring or cause to fall under the influence, domination, or control of some emotional or intellectual response or reaction melancholy possesses her

3a obsolete : to instate as owner

b : to make the owner or holder —used in passive construction to indicate simple possessionpossessed of richespossessed of knowledge and experience

Other Words from possess Synonyms & Antonyms Example Sentences Learn More about possess

What would possess seemingly sane people to treat concrete walls like trampolines? — Alice Park, Time, 16 Apr. 2007 People who experience specific colors when looking at particular letters, such as seeing sky blue when shown an R, possess an unusual abundance of connections in brain areas involved in word and color perception, a new brain-imaging investigation finds. — Bruce Bower, Science News, 26 May 2007 What does matter is that we come to recognize that playfulness, as a philosophical stance, can be very serious, indeed; and, moreover, that it possesses an unfailing capacity to arouse ridicule and hostility in those among us who crave certainty, reverence, and restraint. — Tom Robbins, Harper's, September 2004 nations that possess nuclear weapons The defendant was charged with possessing cocaine. The ruby was once possessed by an ancient queen. He dreams of someday possessing great wealth. He possesses a keen wit. The drug possesses the potential to suppress tumors. Do dolphins possess the ability to use language?

See MoreRecent Examples on the Web He had been previously convicted of a felony firearm offense in a state court and not lawfully allowed topossessthe guns. —Brad Parks, Omar Jimenez And Kay Jones, CNN, "Reputed head of Black Disciples gang in Chicago among 23 accused of drug and gun trafficking," 29 July 2020So the two political branches, acting together, gave the CFPB Director the same job protection that innumerable other agency headspossess. —Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Elena Kagan’s Fiery Defense of the Administrative State," 2 July 2020Young is awaiting extradition back to Mobile to face charges of conspiracy topossesswith the intent to distribute marijuana greater than 1,000 kilograms; possession with the intent to distribute marijuana; and forfeiture. —Howard Koplowitz |, al, "Mobile fugitive in drug trafficking case captured after 13 years on the lam," 4 June 2020Faulkner also was ordered not topossessany laser lights, firework mortars or other weapons. —oregonlive, "Federal courthouse door shattered, fireworks exploded inside, leading to arrest of 19-year-old, complaint says," 6 July 2020But they are not required to find out if the person canpossessa firearm and are not required to conduct a background check. —Washington Post, "Feds seek to keep guns seized after West Texas mass shooting," 9 July 2020The charges include conspiracy topossesscocaine with intent to distribute, conspiracy to import cocaine and importation of cocaine. —Sonia Moghe, CNN, "An American Airlines mechanic is accused of smuggling cocaine but his attorney says authorities got the wrong guy," 6 July 2020The one most central to EarthBound's plot echoes the plight of those whopossessliterature most's famous ring, but some of the smaller strokes are no less ingenious. —Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Homebound with EarthBound," 5 July 2020Other key provisions include: Adults would be able topossess1 ounce of marijuana, with no more than 5 grams of it being marijuana concentrate. —Ryan Randazzo, The Arizona Republic, "Backers of Arizona's recreational marijuana measure file 420K signatures for November ballot," 2 July 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'possess.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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