possession

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin possessiō, possessiōnis.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

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possession (countable and uncountable, plural possessions)

  1. Control or occupancy of something for which one does not necessarily have private property rights.
  2. Something that is owned.
    The car quickly became his most prized possession.
    I would gladly give all of my worldly possessions just to be able to do that.
  3. Ownership; taking, holding, keeping something as one's own.
    The car is in my possession.
    I'm in possession of the car.
  4. A territory under the rule of another country.
    Réunion is the largest of France's overseas possessions.
  5. The condition or affliction of being possessed by a demon or other supernatural entity.
    Back then, people with psychiatric disorders were sometimes thought to be victims of demonic possession.
    • Shakespeare
      How long hath this possession held the man?
  6. (sports) Control of the ball; the opportunity to be on the offensive.
    The scoreboard shows a little football symbol next to the name of the team that has possession.
    • 2010 December 29, Chris Whyatt, “Chelsea 1 - 0 Bolton”, in BBC[1]:
      Their first half was marred by the entire side playing too deep, completely unable to build up any form of decent possession once the ball left their bewildered defence.
  7. (linguistics) A syntactic relationship between two nouns or nominals that may be used to indicate ownership.
    Some languages distinguish between a construction like 'my car', which shows alienable possession — the car could become someone else's — and one like 'my foot', which has inalienable possession — my foot will always be mine.

Usage notes[edit]

  • One who possesses is often said to have possession (of), hold possession (of), or be in possession (of).
  • One who acquires is often said to take possession (of), gain possession (of), or come into possession (of).

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

  • (taking, holding, keeping something as one's own): absence

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 Help:How to check translations.

Verb[edit]

possession (third-person singular simple present possessions, present participle possessioning, simple past and past participle possessioned)

  1. (obsolete) To invest with property.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.

Statistics[edit]

Most common English words before 1923: ways · grave · serious · #953: possession · move · foreign · native

French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin possessionem (nominative of possessio)

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

possession f (plural possessions)

  1. possession

External links[edit]