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.

Origin of dispossessed

First recorded in 1590–1600; dispossess + -ed2



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 dispossessed

evict, oust, appropriate, eject, expropriate, expel

Examples from the Web for dispossessed

Contemporary Examples of dispossessed

  • Pope Francis, the first Pope from a developing nation, sees the world through the eyes of the poor and dispossessed.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Hope and Change in the Vatican

    Jon Favreau

    January 4, 2014

  • But we live in times where revolutions and uprisings are rising from the disenchanted and the dispossessed.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Ugly Side of Sweden

    Janine di Giovanni

    July 17, 2013

  • The poor and dispossessed are shuffled out to suburbs and never seen.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Problem With Cities

    Janine di Giovanni

    June 24, 2013

  • Israel recently advanced legislation calling for tens of thousands of Bedouin citizens to be uprooted and dispossessed.

    The Daily Beast logo
    New Bill Threatens Bedouin Rights in Israel

    Rabbi Joyce Galaski

    May 24, 2013

  • The same story repeated itself across the Arab world, as dispossessed Jews fled discrimination, abuse, riots and executions.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Throw Away That Rusty Key

    Lyn Julius

    May 20, 2013

Historical Examples of dispossessed

  • 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



(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