[ ree-puh-zes ]
See synonyms for repossess on
verb (used with object)
  1. to regain ownership of; to take back, especially for failure to make due payment: After the first few payments, the buyer defaulted on the contract, and we were forced to repossess the piano.

  2. to give (someone) ownership of something again; restore something to (used with of): In 1814, a coalition of European powers defeated Napoleon and repossessed the ousted Bourbons of their throne.

Origin of repossess

First recorded in 1485–95; re- + possess

Other words from repossess

  • re·pos·sess·a·ble, adjective
  • re·pos·ses·sion [ree-puh-zesh-uhn], /ˌri pəˈzɛʃ ən/, noun
  • re·pos·ses·sor, noun
  • un·re·pos·sessed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use repossess in a sentence

  • For a time I did not reflect that to hold it thus in my hand was not sufficient to entitle me to repossession.

    Arthur Mervyn | Charles Brockden Brown
  • Red tape might prevent repossession of the original, but he was using his influence to obtain a copy.

    For the School Colours | Angela Brazil

British Dictionary definitions for repossess


/ (ˌriːpəˈzɛs) /

  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

Derived forms of repossess

  • repossession (ˌriːpəˈzɛʃən), noun
  • repossessor, 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