possess

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle French possesser (to possess), from Latin possessus, past participle of possīdeō.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

possess (third-person singular simple present possesses, present participle possessing, simple past and past participle possessed)

  1. (transitive) To have; to have ownership of.
    He does not even possess a working telephone.
    • 1818, Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, Volume 3, Chapter 7:
      [...], the companions of our childhood always possess a certain power over our minds, which hardly any later friend can obtain.
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 1, in A Cuckoo in the Nest[1]:
      He read the letter aloud. Sophia listened with the studied air of one for whom, even in these days, a title possessed some surreptitious allurement.
  2. (transitive) To take control of someone's body or mind, especially in a supernatural manner.
    They thought he was possessed by evil spirits.
  3. (transitive, dated, chiefly with of) To vest ownership in (someone); to give someone power or knowledge; to acquaint; to inform.

Synonyms[edit]

  • ((with of), to vest ownership): seise
  • (qualities or characteristics): inhold

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.