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pre- +‎ possession.



prepossession (countable and uncountable, plural prepossessions)

  1. Preoccupation; having possession beforehand.
    • 1815, Jane Austen, Emma, volume I, chapter 7:
      It opens his designs to his family, it introduces you among them, it diffuses through the party those pleasantest feelings of our nature, eager curiosity and warm prepossession.
  2. A preconceived opinion, or previous impression; bias, prejudice.
    • 1902, William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience, Folio Society 2008, p. 386:
      The spontaneous intellect of man always defines the divine which it feels in ways that harmonise with its temporary intellectual prepossessions.


  • 1791 : I am fully sensible to the greatness of that freedom, which I take with you on the present occasion; a liberty which seemed to me scarcely allowable, when I reflected on that distinguished and dignified station in which you stand, and the almost general prejudice and prepossession, which is so prevalent in the world against those of my complexion. - Letter from Benjamin Banneker to Thomas Jefferson, August 19, 1791