verb (used with object)
to have as belonging to one; have as property; own:
to possess a house and a car.
to have as a faculty, quality, or the like:
to possess courage.
(of a spirit, especially an evil one) to occupy, dominate, or control (a person) from within:
He thought he was possessed by devils.
(of a feeling, idea, etc.) to dominate or actuate in the manner of such a spirit:
He was possessed by envy.
(of a man) to succeed in having sexual intercourse with.
to have knowledge of:
to possess a language.
to keep or maintain (oneself, one’s mind, etc.) in a certain state, as of peace, patience, etc.
to maintain control over (oneself, one’s mind, etc.).
to impart to; inform; familiarize (often followed by of or with):
to possess someone of the facts of the case.
to cause to be dominated or influenced, as by an idea, feeling, etc.
to make (someone) owner, holder, or master, as of property, information, etc.:
He possessed them of the facts.
to seize or take.
to gain or win.
to occupy or hold.
to have as one’s property; own
to have as a quality, faculty, characteristic, etc: to possess good eyesight
to have knowledge or mastery of: to possess a little French
to gain control over or dominate: whatever possessed you to act so foolishly?
(foll by of) to cause to be the owner or possessor: I 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 condition: possess yourself in patience until I tell you the news
(archaic) to gain or seize
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.
[puh-zes] /pəˈzɛs/ verb (used with object) 1. to have as belonging to one; have as property; own: to possess a house and a car. 2. to have as a faculty, quality, or the like: to possess courage. 3. (of a spirit, especially an evil one) to occupy, dominate, or control (a person) from within: He […]
[puh-zesh-uh n] /pəˈzɛʃ ən/ noun 1. the act or fact of possessing. 2. the state of being possessed. 3. . 4. Law. actual holding or occupancy, either with or without rights of ownership. 5. a thing possessed: He packed all his possessions into one trunk. 6. possessions, property or wealth. 7. a territorial dominion of […]
- Possession is nine points of the law
Actually holding something is better than merely claiming it. For example, When Karen told John he must return the sofa he’d borrowed, he said possession is nine points of the law. This term originally alluded to nine elements that would aid someone’s lawsuit, among them a good lawyer, good witnesses, a good jury, a good […]
- Possession order
noun 1. (in Britain) a court order that entitles a landlord legally to evict a tenant or squatter and regain possession of the property