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See more synonyms for repossess on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to possess again; regain possession of, especially for nonpayment of money due.
  2. to put again in possession of something: to repossess the Bourbons of their throne.
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Origin of repossess

First recorded in 1485–95; re- + possess
Related formsre·pos·sess·a·ble, adjectivere·pos·ses·sion [ree-puh-zesh-uh n] /ˌri pəˈzɛʃ ən/, nounre·pos·ses·sor, nounun·re·pos·sessed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

retake, recover, retrieve, recapture, reclaim, reacquire

Examples from the Web for repossess

Historical Examples

  • The government resolved to repossess New Orleans and Mobile.

    Harper's Young People, September 7, 1880


  • Cordelia lands with French troops to repossess Lear of his kingdom.

    William Shakespeare

    John Masefield

  • Here there was clearly no aggression: he was only attempting to repossess his own.

    The Admiral

    Douglas Sladen

  • As he spoke she had but one thought, to repossess herself of the note.


    Edgar Saltus

  • I freely own that I'd give all the rest willingly to repossess myself of the Monsoon treaty.

British Dictionary definitions for repossess


verb (tr)
  1. to take back possession of (property), esp for nonpayment of money due under a hire-purchase agreement
  2. to restore ownership of (something) to someone
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Derived Formsrepossession (ˌriːpəˈzɛʃən), nounrepossessor, 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 repossess


late 15c., "to reoccupy;" see re- "back, again" + possess. Meaning "take back from a purchaser who defaults on payments" first recorded 1933. Related: Repossessed; repossessing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper