View synonyms for possession


[ puh-zesh-uhn ]


  1. the act or fact of possessing.

    Synonyms: occupation, tenure

  2. the state of being possessed.
  3. Law. actual holding or occupancy, either with or without rights of ownership.
  4. a thing possessed:

    He packed all his possessions into one trunk.

  5. possessions, property or wealth.
  6. a territorial dominion of a state.
  7. Sports.
    1. physical control of the ball or puck by a player or team:

      He didn't have full possession when he was tackled.

    2. the right of a team to put the ball into play:

      They had possession after the other team sank a free throw.

  8. control over oneself, one's mind, etc.
  9. domination, actuation, or obsession by a feeling, idea, etc.
  10. the feeling or idea itself.


/ pəˈzɛʃən /


  1. the act of possessing or state of being possessed

    in possession of the crown

  2. anything that is owned or possessed
  3. plural wealth or property
  4. the state of being controlled or dominated by or as if by evil spirits
  5. the physical control or occupancy of land, property, etc, whether or not accompanied by ownership

    to take possession of a house

  6. a territory subject to a foreign state or to a sovereign prince

    colonial possessions

  7. sport control of the ball, puck, etc, as exercised by a player or team

    he lost possession in his own half

Discover More

Other Words From

  • nonpos·session noun

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of possession1

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English, from Latin possessiōn-, stem of possessiō “occupancy, act of occupying,” from possess(us) “occupied” (past participle of possidēre “to have in one's control, occupy,” from pos-, combining form of pot(is) “able” + -sidēre, combining form of sedēre “to sit”) + -iō -ion; host 1, sit 1

Discover More

Synonym Study

See custody.

Discover More

Example Sentences

Barcelona has the highest possession and is the highest passing team left in the Champions League.

So, when a brand acquires a negative association for some consumers, as is happening with MyPillow, consumers may feel tainted by their association with this possession.

Once we cross half court from the possession, we forget about it, we’re on to the next one.

When he took possession of the mic, he shouted out the defensive line.

The Missouri Valley has delivered some of the country’s best mid-majors over the years, and in terms of per-possession efficiency metrics, this Loyola team can play with all of them.

But Brinsley went away for two years in prison for weapons possession in August 2011.

“We were finding people in possession of thousands of paper prescriptions,” he said.

He was charged with criminal possession of a weapon and faced 15 years prison time.

The interval between possession and hell was short,” he says, “though I admit it was wonderful.

If we begin to see the other as our possession and commodity, our shoe, the shadow of our shadow, is there ever a happy outcome?

Within the past thirty years civilization has rapidly taken possession of this lovely region.

The last-named building remained in the possession of the Unitarians until 1861, when it was sold to the Roman Catholics.

The evening previous to his death he was walking about the farm, in the full possession of all his faculties of mind and body.

Providence, interposing, made him a painter, and the gaiety of nations has been increased by the possession of some storks.

"Marco's" reply conclusively proved his possession of a Christian spirit.


Related Words




possessed bypossession is nine points of the law