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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
pos•sess /pəˈzɛs/USA pronunciation
v. [~ + object]WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
pos•ses•sor, n. [countable]
- to have (something) as belonging to one;
own[not: be + ~-ing]Everything they possessed was lost in the war.
- to have as a part of one's mind, or as a quality[not: be + ~-ing]She possesses great wit.
- (of a spirit, esp. an evil one) to control (a person) from within:possessed by demons.
- (of a feeling, etc.) to influence in the manner of such a spirit:A raging fury possessed him.[~ + object + to + verb]What in the world possessed you to do this?
(pə zes′), v.t.
- 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, esp. 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 fol. 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.
1 . See have.
- Middle French possess(i)er, noun, nominal derivative of possession possession
- late Middle English possesen 1425–75
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
possess /pəˈzɛs/ vb (transitive)
Etymology: 15th Century: from Old French possesser, from Latin possidēre to own, occupy; related to Latin sedēre to sitposˈsessor n
- to have as one's property; own
- to have as a quality, faculty, characteristic, etc: to possess good eyesight
- to have knowledge or mastery of: to possess a little French
- to gain control over or dominate: whatever possessed you to act so foolishly?
- (followed by of) to cause to be the owner or possessor: I am possessed of the necessary information
- to have sexual intercourse with
- rare to keep control over or maintain (oneself or one's feelings) in a certain state or condition: possess yourself in patience until I tell you the news
'possess' also found in these entries: