possess

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 /pəˈzɛs/

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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
pos•sess /pəˈzɛs/USA pronunciation   v. [+ object]
  1. to have (something) as belonging to one;
    own:[not: be + ~-ing]Everything they possessed was lost in the war.
  2. to have as a part of one's mind, or as a quality:[not: be + ~-ing]She possesses great wit.
  3. (of a spirit, esp. an evil one) to control (a person) from within:possessed by demons.
  4. (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?
pos•ses•sor, n. [countable]

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
pos•sess  (pə zes),USA pronunciation v.t. 
  1. to have as belonging to one;
    have as property;
    own:to possess a house and a car.
  2. to have as a faculty, quality, or the like:to possess courage.
  3. (of a spirit, esp. an evil one) to occupy, dominate, or control (a person) from within:He thought he was possessed by devils.
  4. (of a feeling, idea, etc.) to dominate or actuate in the manner of such a spirit:He was possessed by envy.
  5. (of a man) to succeed in having sexual intercourse with.
  6. to have knowledge of:to possess a language.
  7. to keep or maintain (oneself, one's mind, etc.) in a certain state, as of peace, patience, etc.
  8. to maintain control over (oneself, one's mind, etc.).
  9. to impart to;
    inform;
    familiarize (often fol. by of or with):to possess someone of the facts of the case.
  10. to cause to be dominated or influenced, as by an idea, feeling, etc.
  11. to make (someone) owner, holder, or master, as of property, information, etc.:He possessed them of the facts.
  12. to seize or take.
  13. to gain or win.
  14. to occupy or hold.
pos•sessor, n. 
pos•sessor•ship′, n. 
  • Middle French possess(i)er, noun, nominal derivative of possession possession
  • late Middle English possesen 1425–75
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged See  have. 


Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

possess /pəˈzɛs/ vb (transitive)
  1. to have as one's property; own
  2. to have as a quality, faculty, characteristic, etc: to possess good eyesight
  3. to have knowledge or mastery of: to possess a little French
  4. to gain control over or dominate: whatever possessed you to act so foolishly?
  5. (followed by of) to cause to be the owner or possessor: I am possessed of the necessary information
  6. to have sexual intercourse with
  7. 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
Etymology: 15th Century: from Old French possesser, from Latin possidēre to own, occupy; related to Latin sedēre to sit

posˈsessor n



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