possessive

[ puh-zes-iv ]
/ pəˈzɛs ɪv /

adjective

jealously opposed to the personal independence of, or to any influence other than one's own upon, a child, spouse, etc.
desirous of possessing, especially excessively so: Young children are so possessive they will not allow others to play with their toys; a possessive lover.
of or relating to possession or ownership.
Grammar.
  1. indicating possession, ownership, origin, etc. His in his book is a possessive adjective. His in The book is his is a possessive pronoun.
  2. noting or pertaining to a case that indicates possession, ownership, origin, etc., as, in English, John's in John's hat.

noun Grammar.

the possessive case.
a form in the possessive.

Nearby words

  1. possessed, the,
  2. possessedly,
  3. possession,
  4. possession is nine points of the law,
  5. possession order,
  6. possessive adjective,
  7. possessive pronoun,
  8. possessor,
  9. possessory,
  10. posset

Origin of possessive

From the Latin word possessīvus, dating back to 1520–30. See possess, -ive

Related forms
Can be confusedpossessive possessory

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

Examples from the Web for possessive


British Dictionary definitions for possessive

possessive

/ (pəˈzɛsɪv) /

adjective

of or relating to possession or ownership
having or showing an excessive desire to possess, control, or dominatea possessive mother
grammar
  1. another word for genitive (def. 1)
  2. denoting an inflected form of a noun or pronoun used to convey the idea of possession, association, etc, as my or Harry's

noun

grammar
  1. the possessive case
  2. a word or speech element in the possessive case
Derived Formspossessively, adverbpossessiveness, noun

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 possessive

possessive

adj.

mid-15c. (grammatical, also as a noun); 1550s in general use, from Middle French possessif (15c.) "relating to possession, possessive," and directly from Latin possessivus, from possess-, past participle stem of possidere "to possess" (see possess). Related: Possessively; possessiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for possessive

possessive

The case of a noun or pronoun that shows possession. Nouns are usually made possessive by adding an apostrophe and s: “The bicycle is Sue's, not Mark's.” Possessive pronouns can take the place of possessive nouns: “The bicycle is hers, not his.” (See nominative case and objective case.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.