verb (used with object)

Nearby words

  1. poss,
  2. poss.,
  3. posse,
  4. posse comitatus,
  5. posser,
  6. possessed,
  7. possessed by,
  8. possessed, the,
  9. possessedly,
  10. 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 possessorship

  • Suddenly, at the sight, a rage of possessorship awoke in her.

    The Reef|Edith Wharton
  • He knew that he was touching a sensitive chord, for Bessy had to the full her sex's pride of possessorship.

    The Fruit of the Tree|Edith Wharton
  • He experiences the overwhelming joy of possessorship, for she is his.

    A Little Girl of Long Ago|Amanda Millie Douglas

British Dictionary definitions for possessorship


verb (tr)

to have as one's property; own
to have as a quality, faculty, characteristic, etcto possess good eyesight
to have knowledge or mastery ofto possess a little French
to gain control over or dominatewhatever possessed you to act so foolishly?
(foll by of) to cause to be the owner or possessorI am possessed of the necessary information
(often foll by with) to cause to be influenced or dominated (by)the news possessed him with anger
to have sexual intercourse with
rare to keep control over or maintain (oneself or one's feelings) in a certain state or conditionpossess yourself in patience until I tell you the news
archaic to gain or seize
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 possessorship



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