- 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, especially 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 followed 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.
Origin of possess
Examples from the Web for possessing
He was charged with two counts of possessing a raptor and two counts of possessing a protected species.He Faces Jail for Rescuing Baby Eagles
November 2, 2014
Morgan is a convicted felon and therefore barred from possessing firearms.The Mystery of Donald Ray Morgan, the 44-Year-Old American Who Loved ISIS
August 12, 2014
In November 2013, it was reported that 80 prisoners were publicly executed, many for possessing Bibles.The New Age of Christian Martyrdom
January 13, 2014
Soldier N was found guilty of possessing illegal firearms and was sentenced to two years in prison.The Man at the Center of the Princess Diana Conspiracy
August 20, 2013
He was one of the great journalists of our generation, possessing spark and insight and righteous indignation.Michael Hastings, R.I.P.
June 19, 2013
Rosenfeld eyed him suspiciously, but, possessing a sense of humor also, he grinned.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
The only advantage with which he accredited the city was that of possessing newspapers.In the Heart of Vosges
Thanks to numbers they had ended by invading every sphere and possessing everything.Fruitfulness
And this, as possessing measure, must undeniably also be an art and science?Protagoras
There is, however, an interest in possessing one writing of Plato which is in the process of creation.Laws
- to have as one's property; own
- to have as a quality, faculty, characteristic, etcto possess good eyesight
- to have knowledge or mastery ofto possess a little French
- to gain control over or dominatewhatever possessed you to act so foolishly?
- (foll by of) to cause to be the owner or possessorI am possessed of the necessary information
- (often foll by with) to cause to be influenced or dominated (by)the news possessed him with anger
- to have sexual intercourse with
- rare to keep control over or maintain (oneself or one's feelings) in a certain state or conditionpossess yourself in patience until I tell you the news
- archaic to gain or seize
Word Origin and History for possessing
late 14c., "to hold, occupy, reside in" (without regard to ownership), a back formation from possession and in part from Old French possesser "to have and hold, take, be in possession of" (mid-13c.), from Latin possess-, past participle stem of possidere "to have and hold, possess, be master of, own," from posse "to be able," from potis "able, powerful" (see potent) + esse "to be" (see be). Meaning "to hold as property" is recorded from c.1500. Demonic sense is recorded from 1530s (implied in possessed). Related: Possessed; possessing.