possess

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pos·sess

 (pə-zĕs′)
tr.v. pos·sessed, pos·sess·ing, pos·sess·es
1.
a. To have as property; own: possess great wealth.
b. Law To have under one's power or control: possess illegal drugs.
2.
a. To have as a quality, characteristic, or other attribute: possesses great tact.
b. To have mastery or knowledge of: possess a knowledge of Sanskrit; possess valuable information.
3.
a. To gain control or power over. Used of a demon or spirit.
b. To occupy fully the mind or feelings of: The dancers were possessed by the music.
c. Often Offensive To have sexual intercourse with (a woman).
d. Archaic To control or maintain (one's nature) in a particular condition: I possessed my temper despite the insult.
4. Archaic To cause (oneself) to own, hold, or master something, such as property or knowledge.
5. Archaic To gain or seize.

[Middle English possessen, from Old French possesser, from Latin possidēre, possess- : pos-, as master; see poti- in Indo-European roots + sedēre, to sit; see sed- in Indo-European roots.]

pos·ses′sor n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

possess

(pəˈzɛs)
vb (tr)
1. to have as one's property; own
2. to have as a quality, faculty, characteristic, etc: to possess good eyesight.
3. to have knowledge or mastery of: to possess a little French.
4. to gain control over or dominate: whatever possessed you to act so foolishly?.
5. (foll by of) to cause to be the owner or possessor: I am possessed of the necessary information.
6. (often foll by with) to cause to be influenced or dominated (by): the news possessed him with anger.
7. to have sexual intercourse with
8. rare to keep control over or maintain (oneself or one's feelings) in a certain state or condition: possess yourself in patience until I tell you the news.
9. archaic to gain or seize
[C15: from Old French possesser, from Latin possidēre to own, occupy; related to Latin sedēre to sit]
posˈsessor n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

pos•sess

(pəˈzɛs)

v.t.
1. to have as belonging to one; have as property; own.
2. to have as a faculty, quality, or the like: possess intelligence.
3. (of a spirit, esp. an evil one) to occupy or control (a person) from within: be possessed by demons.
4. (of a feeling, idea, etc.) to dominate or actuate in the manner of such a spirit.
5. to cause to be dominated or influenced, as by an idea or feeling.
6. to have knowledge of, as a language.
7. to keep or maintain in a certain state, as of peace or patience.
8. to make (someone) owner, holder, or master, as of property or information.
9. (of a man) to have sexual intercourse with.
10. to seize or take; gain.
[1425–75; late Middle English possesen < Middle French possess(i)er, n. derivative of possession possession]
pos•ses′sor, n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

possess

The verb possess is usually used to say that someone or something has a quality, ability, or feature.

Energetic and sagacious, Snodgrass possessed the very qualities needed.
For hundreds of years London possessed only one bridge.

This is a fairly formal use. In conversation, you do not use 'possess'. Instead you use have or have got.

In legal English, if you possess an object or substance, you own it or have it with you.

They were found guilty of possessing petrol bombs.
...the arrest of the mayor on charges of possessing cocaine.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012

possess


Past participle: possessed
Gerund: possessing

Imperative
possess
possess
Present
I possess
you possess
he/she/it possesses
we possess
you possess
they possess
Preterite
I possessed
you possessed
he/she/it possessed
we possessed
you possessed
they possessed
Present Continuous
I am possessing
you are possessing
he/she/it is possessing
we are possessing
you are possessing
they are possessing
Present Perfect
I have possessed
you have possessed
he/she/it has possessed
we have possessed
you have possessed
they have possessed
Past Continuous
I was possessing
you were possessing
he/she/it was possessing
we were possessing
you were possessing
they were possessing
Past Perfect
I had possessed
you had possessed
he/she/it had possessed
we had possessed
you had possessed
they had possessed
Future
I will possess
you will possess
he/she/it will possess
we will possess
you will possess
they will possess
Future Perfect
I will have possessed
you will have possessed
he/she/it will have possessed
we will have possessed
you will have possessed
they will have possessed
Future Continuous
I will be possessing
you will be possessing
he/she/it will be possessing
we will be possessing
you will be possessing
they will be possessing
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been possessing
you have been possessing
he/she/it has been possessing
we have been possessing
you have been possessing
they have been possessing
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been possessing
you will have been possessing
he/she/it will have been possessing
we will have been possessing
you will have been possessing
they will have been possessing
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been possessing
you had been possessing
he/she/it had been possessing
we had been possessing
you had been possessing
they had been possessing
Conditional
I would possess
you would possess
he/she/it would possess
we would possess
you would possess
they would possess
Past Conditional
I would have possessed
you would have possessed
he/she/it would have possessed
we would have possessed
you would have possessed
they would have possessed
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.possess - have as an attribute, knowledge, or skill; "he possesses great knowledge about the Middle East"
feature, have - have as a feature; "This restaurant features the most famous chefs in France"
exhibit - show an attribute, property, knowledge, or skill; "he exhibits a great talent"
2.possess - have ownership or possession of; "He owns three houses in Florida"; "How many cars does she have?"
prepossess - possess beforehand
feature, have - have as a feature; "This restaurant features the most famous chefs in France"
3.possess - enter into and control, as of emotions or ideas; "What possessed you to buy this house?"; "A terrible rage possessed her"
dominate - be in control; "Her husband completely dominates her"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.

possess

verb
1. own, have, hold, be in possession of, be the owner of, have in your possession, have to your name He is said to possess a huge fortune.
2. be endowed with, have, enjoy, benefit from, be born with, be blessed with, be possessed of, be gifted with individuals who possess the qualities of sense and discretion
3. control, influence, dominate, consume, obsess, bedevil, mesmerize, eat someone up, fixate, put under a spell Absolute terror possessed her.
4. seize, hold, control, dominate, occupy, haunt, take someone over, bewitch, take possession of, have power over, have mastery over It was as if the spirit of his father possessed him.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002

possess

verb
1. To keep at one's disposal:
2. To hold on one's person:
Informal: pack.
3. To have the use or benefit of:
4. To have at one's disposal:
5. To be endowed with as a visible characteristic or form:
6. To dominate the mind or thoughts of:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Translations
يـَمْتَلِكيَمْلُك، يَمْتَلِك
vlastnitmít
besiddeeje
haviposedi
omistaa
posjedovati
eiga
所有する
소유하다
savininkiškaisavininkiškassavininkiškumassavybinisvalda
būtpiederēt
imeti v posesti
besitta
เป็นเจ้าของ
sở hữu

possess

[pəˈzes] VT
1. (= have) → tener, poseer; (= own) [+ property] → poseer, ser dueño de
it possesses many advantagestiene or posee muchas ventajas
to possess a large collectionposeer una gran colección
to possess o.s. of (frm) → tomar posesión de; (violently) → apoderarse de
to possess o.s. or one's soul in patience (liter or hum) → armarse de paciencia
2. (= control, take over) to be possessed by an ideaestar poseido por una idea
whatever can have possessed you?¿cómo se te ocurrió?
what can have possessed you to think like that?¿cómo has podido pensar así?
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005

possess

[pəˈzɛs] vt
(= have) → posséder
(= overwhelm) → s'emparer de
whatever possessed you? → qu'est-ce qui t'a pris?
to be possessed by sth (feeling)être pris(e) de qch
She was possessed by a frenzied urge to get out of Moscow → Elle fut prise d'une furieuse envie de quitter Moscou.
to be possessed by the devil → être possédé(e) du démon
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

possess

vtbesitzen; (form) foreign language, factsverfügen über (+acc); to be possessed of something (form)über etw (acc)verfügen; it possesses many advantageses hat viele Vorteile; to be possessed by demonsvon Dämonen besessen sein; to be possessed by the urge to do somethingvon dem Drang besessen sein, etw tun zu müssen; like a man/woman possessedwie ein Besessener/eine Besessene; to fight like one possessedwie ein Besessener kämpfen; whatever possessed you to do that?was ist bloß in Sie gefahren, so etwas zu tun?; to possess one’s soul in patience (form)sich in Geduld fassen
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007

possess

[pəˈzɛs] vtpossedere
like one possessed → come un ossesso
to be possessed by an idea → essere ossessionato/a da un'idea
whatever can have possessed you? → cosa ti ha preso?
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995

possess

(pəˈzes) verb
to own or have. How much money does he possess?
posˈsession (-ʃən) noun
1. something which is owned by a person, country etc. She lost all her possessions in the fire.
2. the state of possessing.
posˈsessive (-siv) adjective
1. showing that someone or something possesses an object etc. `Yours', `mine', `his', `hers', `theirs' are possessive pronouns; `your', `my', `his', `their' are possessive adjectives.
2. acting as though things and people are one's personal possessions. a possessive mother.
posˈsessively adverb
posˈsessiveness noun
posˈsessor noun
He is the proud possessor of a new car.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.

possess

يـَمْتَلِك vlastnit besidde besitzen κατέχω poseer omistaa posséder posjedovati possedere 所有する 소유하다 bezitten være i besittelse av posiąść possuir обладать besitta เป็นเจ้าของ sahip olmak sở hữu 占有
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009

possess

v. poseer, tener.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
References in classic literature ?
And because our reasonings are never so clear or so complete during sleep as when we are awake, although sometimes the acts of our imagination are then as lively and distinct, if not more so than in our waking moments, reason further dictates that, since all our thoughts cannot be true because of our partial imperfection, those possessing truth must infallibly be found in the experience of our waking moments rather than in that of our dreams.
for this cannot arise from their possessing these qualities in different degrees; for to govern, and to be governed, are things different in species, but more or less are not.
In my sleep it was not my wake-a-day personality that took charge of me; it was another and distinct personality, possessing a new and totally different fund of experiences, and, to the point of my dreaming, possessing memories of those totally different experiences.
To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence.
He was received with great enthusiasm by the employer, who congratulated him on possessing so valuable a slave.
The women were both of goodly height, Madame Ratignolle possessing the more feminine and matronly figure.
Nevertheless, knowing you as I do, I believe it to be my best course to allow you to judge for yourself as to the improbability of his possessing any valuable secret.
In these circumstances there is a total dissimilitude between him and a king of Great Britain, who is an hereditary monarch, possessing the crown as a patrimony descendible to his heirs forever; but there is a close analogy between him and a governor of New York, who is elected for three years, and is re-eligible without limitation or intermission.
A Lerwick man was fined PS360 after he admitted possessing cocaine.
A MAN who has admitted possessing cocaine valued at PS250,000 with intent to supply - and possessing firearms - has been warned that he faces a substantial sentence.
5.1% possess just a non-mobile telephone and 71.6% - just a mobile phone (households possessing two and more mobile phones are prevailing).
Conroy also denies possessing ammunition, namely a .22 bullet, without a certificate.