WORD ORIGIN | IDIOMS adjective spurred or moved by a strong feeling, madness, or a supernatural power (often followed by by, of, or with): The army fought as if possessed. The village believed her to be possessed of the devil. self-possessed; poised. Idioms possessed of, having; possessing: He is possessed of intelligence and ambition. Origin of possessed
First recorded in
-ed 2 Related forms pos·sess·ed·ly , [p uh- zes-id-lee, - zest-lee] /pəˈzɛs ɪd li, -ˈzɛst li/ adverb pos·sess·ed·ness, noun non·pos·sessed, adjective un·pos·sessed, adjective
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for possessed by adjective ( foll by of) owning or having (usually postpositive) under the influence of a powerful force, such as a spirit or strong emotion
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for possessed by adj.
"controlled by an indwelling demon," 1530s, past participle adjective from
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Idioms and Phrases with possessed by
Driven by, obsessed with, as in
He was possessed by the idea of becoming a millionaire. This idiom employs possess in the sense of “dominate one's thoughts or ideas,” a usage dating from the late 1500s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
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