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 formsdis·pos·ses·sion, noundis·pos·ses·sor, noundis·pos·ses·so·ry [dis-puh-zes-uh-ree] /ˌdɪs pəˈzɛs ə ri/, adjective

Synonyms for dispossess

1. See strip1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for dispossess

evict, oust, appropriate, eject, expropriate, expel

Examples from the Web for dispossess

Historical Examples of dispossess

  • 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.

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for dispossess



(tr) to take away possession of something, esp property; expel
Derived Formsdispossession, noundispossessor, noundispossessory, 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

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