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[dis-puh-zes] /ˌdɪs pəˈzɛs/
verb (used with object)
to put (a person) out of possession, especially of real property; oust.
to banish.
to abandon ownership of (a building), especially as a bad investment:
Landlords have dispossessed many old tenement buildings.
Origin of dispossess
1425-75; dis-1 + possess; replacing Middle English disposseden, equivalent to dis-1 + posseden (< Old French posseder) < Latin possidēre; see possess
Related forms
dispossession, noun
dispossessor, noun
[dis-puh-zes-uh-ree] /ˌdɪs pəˈzɛs ə ri/ (Show IPA),
1. See strip1 . Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for dispossess
Historical Examples
  • But she could not dispossess herself of the belief that he was guilty.

    Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon
  • "You, personally, began this dispossess action," said Mr. Stanley.

    The Young Treasure Hunter Frank V. Webster
  • They had a fascination for her, and she could not dispossess her mind of the thought that she had seen them before.

    Peak's Island Ford Paul
  • If he finds I have the right to continue in the farm, he would not wish to dispossess me.

    The Rival Crusoes W.H.G. Kingston
  • Finally, it occurred to me to dispossess the dog and take his place beneath the bush.

    The Dawn of Reason James Weir
  • They are the sons of those who have often tried to dispossess you of your lands.

    Hendricks the Hunter W.H.G. Kingston
  • Help pick up Pierre's coffin and carry it, when he was about to dispossess Pierre's son?

    Shaman Robert Shea
  • So he said, 'And is it known to ye how to dispossess the wearer of his burden?'

  • I could not dispossess her of it, even after uttering the word 'duel' I know not how often.

  • Probably at no period did he aspire after supremacy, or expect to dispossess Cecil.

    Sir Walter Ralegh William Stebbing
British Dictionary definitions for dispossess


(transitive) to take away possession of something, esp property; expel
Derived Forms
dispossession, noun
dispossessor, noun
dispossessory, adjective
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
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Word Origin and History for dispossess

late 15c., from Old French despossesser "to dispossess," from des- (see dis-) + possesser (see possess). Related: Dispossessed; dispossessing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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