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See more synonyms for dispossessed on Thesaurus.com
  1. evicted, as from a dwelling, land, etc.; ousted.
  2. without property, status, etc., as wandering or displaced persons; rootless; disfranchised.
  3. having suffered the loss of expectations, prospects, relationships, etc.; disinherited; disaffiliated; alienated: The modern city dweller may feel spiritually dispossessed.
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Origin of dispossessed

First recorded in 1590–1600; dispossess + -ed2


verb (used with object)
  1. to put (a person) out of possession, especially of real property; oust.
  2. to banish.
  3. to abandon ownership of (a building), especially as a bad investment: Landlords have dispossessed many old tenement buildings.
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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


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. See strip1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

evict, oust, appropriate, eject, expropriate, expel

Examples from the Web for dispossessed

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The Irish were dispossessed, kicked out, and they have been out ever since.

    Ireland as It Is

    Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

  • But the time had come when even these kings of birds were to be dispossessed.

    The Pioneers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • Of course these two tribes were the first who were dispossessed of their lands by the Europeans.

    The Pioneers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • One of them must have ordered Mr. Stanley dispossessed on his own responsibility.

  • "He got in for that while he was dispossessed," smiled Southend.

    Tristram of Blent

    Anthony Hope

British Dictionary definitions for dispossessed


  1. (tr) to take away possession of something, esp property; expel
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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 dispossessed



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper