- spurred or moved by a strong feeling, madness, or a supernatural power (often followed by by, of, or with): The army fought as if possessed. The village believed her to be possessed of the devil.
- self-possessed; poised.
- possessed of, having; possessing: He is possessed of intelligence and ambition.
Origin of possessed
- (foll by of) owning or having
- (usually postpositive) under the influence of a powerful force, such as a spirit or strong emotion
- a less common word for self-possessed
Word Origin and History for possessed by
"controlled by an indwelling demon," 1530s, past participle adjective from possess (v.).
Idioms and Phrases with possessed by
Driven by, obsessed with, as in He was possessed by the idea of becoming a millionaire. This idiom employs possess in the sense of “dominate one's thoughts or ideas,” a usage dating from the late 1500s.