[ dis-puh-zes ]
See synonyms for: dispossessdispossesseddispossession on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
  1. to put (a person) out of possession, especially of real property; oust.

  2. to banish.

  1. to abandon ownership of (a building), especially as a bad investment: Landlords have dispossessed many old tenement buildings.

Origin of dispossess

First recorded in 1425–75; dis-1 + possess; replacing Middle English disposseden, equivalent to dis-1 + posseden (from Old French posseder), from Latin possidēre;see possess

synonym study For dispossess

1. See strip1.

Other words from dispossess

  • dis·pos·ses·sion, noun
  • dis·pos·ses·sor, noun
  • dis·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. 2024

How to use dispossess in a sentence

  • This, from a country that lives with its own ghosts of dispossession and displacement.

    Canada And The Palestinians | Mira Sucharov | November 29, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • This is a strategy that will challenge the status quo—a now 64 year-old process of dispossession.

    The Taste of Freedom | Yousef Munayyer | May 17, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • For one thing, it would involve the dispossession of that year's baby.

    Mary Gray | Katharine Tynan
  • Dispossession of one race by another was the common practice of the times, and in a moral point of view was little thought of.

  • In the explicit accounts which survive there is no word of any dispossession of the druidic priests.

  • They had been kind enough to see to that, those pitying professional colleagues who had witnessed his dispossession.

    Mrs. Red Pepper | Grace S. Richmond
  • There is a dispossession notice to be served hereabouts; a trespasser who must be put off from property that is not his.

    The Killer | Stewart Edward White

British Dictionary definitions for dispossess


/ (ˌdɪspəˈzɛs) /

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

Derived forms of dispossess

  • dispossession, noun
  • dispossessor, noun
  • dispossessory, 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