that impresses favorably; engaging or attractive: a confident and prepossessing young man.

Origin of prepossessing

First recorded in 1635–45; prepossess + -ing2
Related formspre·pos·sess·ing·ly, adverbpre·pos·sess·ing·ness, nounun·pre·pos·sess·ing, adjectiveun·pre·pos·sess·ing·ly, adverb



verb (used with object)

to possess or dominate mentally beforehand, as a prejudice does.
to prejudice or bias, especially favorably.
to impress favorably beforehand or at the outset.

Origin of prepossess

First recorded in 1605–15; pre- + possess Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prepossessing

Historical Examples of prepossessing

British Dictionary definitions for prepossessing



creating a favourable impression; attractive
Derived Formsprepossessingly, adverbprepossessingness, noun


verb (tr)

to preoccupy or engross mentally
to influence in advance for or against a person or thing; prejudice; bias
to make a favourable impression on beforehand
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 prepossessing

1640s, "causing prejudice," present participle adjective from prepossess. Opposite meaning "causing agreeable first impression" first recorded 1805.



1610s, "to get possession of beforehand," from pre- + possess. Meaning "to possess (a person) beforehand with a feeling, notion, etc." is from 1630s; specifically, "to cause (someone) to have a favorable opinion of something" (1640s). Related: Prepossessed; prepossessing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper