• Possess

    Pronunciation

    • IPA: /pəˈzɛs/
    • Rhymes: -ɛs

    Origin

    Full definition of possess

    Verb

    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, A Cuckoo in the Nest Chapter 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, with of) To vest ownership in (someone); to give someone power or knowledge; to acquaint; to inform.

    Synonyms

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