definitions
  • synonyms

possess

[ puh-zes ]
/ pəˈzɛs /
|
SEE MORE SYNONYMS FOR possess ON THESAURUS.COM

verb (used with object)

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RELATED WORDS

enjoy, own, seize, acquire, occupy, maintain, carry, retain, control, hog, dominate, bear, corner, grab, hold

Nearby words

poss, poss., posse, posse comitatus, posser, possess, possessed, possessed by, possessed, the, possessedly, possession

Origin of possess

1425–75; late Middle English possesen < Middle French possess(i)er, noun derivative of possession possession
Related formspos·ses·sor, nounpos·ses·sor·ship, nounun·der·pos·ses·sor, nounun·pos·sess·ing, adjective

Synonym study

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

Examples from the Web for possesses

British Dictionary definitions for possesses

possess

/ (pəˈzɛs) /

verb (tr)

Derived Formspossessor, noun

Word Origin for possess

C15: from Old French possesser, from Latin possidēre to own, occupy; related to Latin sedēre to sit
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 possesses

possess


v.

late 14c., "to hold, occupy, reside in" (without regard to ownership), a back formation from possession and in part from Old French possesser "to have and hold, take, be in possession of" (mid-13c.), from Latin possess-, past participle stem of possidere "to have and hold, possess, be master of, own," from posse "to be able," from potis "able, powerful" (see potent) + esse "to be" (see be). Meaning "to hold as property" is recorded from c.1500. Demonic sense is recorded from 1530s (implied in possessed). Related: Possessed; possessing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper