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From Middle English [Term?], from Middle French despossesser. Equivalent to dis- +‎ possess.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /dɪspəˈzəs/
  • (file)


dispossess (third-person singular simple present dispossesses, present participle dispossessing, simple past and past participle dispossessed)

  1. To deprive someone of the possession of land, especially by evicting them.
  2. To deprive someone of possession in general.
    • c. 1587–1588, [Christopher Marlowe], Tamburlaine the Great. [] The First Part [], part 1, 2nd edition, London: [] [R. Robinson for] Richard Iones, [], published 1592, OCLC 932920499; reprinted as Tamburlaine the Great (A Scolar Press Facsimile), Menston, Yorkshire; London: Scolar Press, 1973, →ISBN, Act II, scene vii:
      Though Mars himſelfe the angry God of armes,
      And all the earthly Potentates conſpire,
      To diſpoſſeſſe me of this Diadem:
      Yet wil I weare it in deſpight of them
      As great commander of this Eaſtearne world, []
  3. (sports) To take possession of the ball/puck etc. (from someone).
    • 2011 October 1, John Sinnott, “Aston Villa 2 - 0 Wigan”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      It was Bannan who released Agbonlahor for his goal with a long-range curling pass after Stephen Warnock had dispossessed Mohamed Diame.

Related terms[edit]