[ dis-puh-zest ]
/ ˌdɪs pəˈzɛst /


evicted, as from a dwelling, land, etc.; ousted.
without property, status, etc., as wandering or displaced persons; rootless; disfranchised.
having suffered the loss of expectations, prospects, relationships, etc.; disinherited; disaffiliated; alienated: The modern city dweller may feel spiritually dispossessed.

Nearby words

  1. disposed,
  2. disposer,
  3. disposition,
  4. dispositive,
  5. dispossess,
  6. dispossession,
  7. disposure,
  8. dispraise,
  9. dispread,
  10. disprize

Origin of dispossessed

First recorded in 1590–1600; dispossess + -ed2


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

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

Examples from the Web for dispossessed

British Dictionary definitions for dispossessed


/ (ˌdɪspəˈzɛs) /


(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 dispossessed



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper