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From Middle English posset, possot, possate, poshet, posthot, of unclear origin. Perhaps from Welsh posel. A connection to Latin pōsca (medieval/dialectal poscada) has also been suggested.



posset (plural possets)

  1. A beverage composed of hot milk curdled by some strong infusion, such as wine.
  2. A baby's vomit, comprising curdled milk.
    • 2008, Miriam Stoppard, Complete Baby and Childcare: Everything You Need to Know for the First Five Years, Dorling Kindersley Ltd, →ISBN:
      Some people will tell you that this position may allow inhalation of posset, but there is no evidence to support this.
    • 2012, Dave Hill, Man Alive, Hachette UK, →ISBN:
      Derek saw that a smear of posset had appeared on the left shoulder of his jacket [...] He smiled softly at Charlotte and said softly, 'I've been puked on.'
    • 2014, Nick Harper, Help! I'm a Dad: All a new dad needs to know about the difficult first few months, Michael O'Mara Books, →ISBN:
      While a little posseting is nothing to be worried about, a lot of posset is more likely to be 'reflux'.
  3. A pudding-like food composed of cream, sugar, and other flavoring, such as lemon.
    • 2022 October 4, America's Test Kitchen, The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001–2023: Every Recipe from the Hit TV Show Along with Product Ratings Includes the 2023 Season, America's Test Kitchen, →ISBN, page 939:
      LEMON POSSET / WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS : The classic English dessert lemon posset transforms cream, sugar, and lemon into a lush pudding with clean citrus flavor. It is the easiest dessert you've never made. []



posset (third-person singular simple present possets, present participle posseting, simple past and past participle posseted)

  1. (obsolete) To curdle; to turn, as milk; to coagulate.
    to posset the blood
  2. To treat with possets; to pamper.
  3. (of a baby) To vomit up curdled milk.
    • 1990, Miriam Stoppard, The New Baby Care Book, →ISBN:
      Some babies never posset at all. Others do so with surprising ease, and this can be quite a cause of concern to parents.
    • 2003, Pearson Education, Limited, Baby's First Year, Pearson South Africa →ISBN, page 23
      All babies posset.
    • 2012, Andy Raffles, Felicity Fine, Harriet Sharkey, Yehudi Gordon, Mother and Baby Health: The A-Z of pregnancy, birth and beyond, Random House, →ISBN, page 421:
      It's also common for babies to 'posset' - bring up small amounts of milk after a feed - and to vomit occasionally.


Derived terms[edit]







  1. third-person singular imperfect active subjunctive of possum  "he would be able (to)"