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Possess Definition

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Other Possess Definition

[v] have ownership or possession of; "He owns three houses in Florida"; "How many cars does she have?"
[v] have as an attribute, knowledge, or skill; "he possesses great knowledge about the Middle East"
[v] enter into and control, as of emotions or ideas; "What possessed you to buy this house?"; "A terrible rage possessed her"


have, own

Misc. Definitions

\Pos*sess"\ (?; 277), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Possessed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Possessing}.] [L. possessus, p. p. of possidere to have, possess, from an inseparable prep. (cf. {Position}) + sedere to sit. See {Sit}.]
1. To occupy in person; to hold or actually have in one's own keeping; to have and to hold. Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land. --Jer. xxxii. 1
5. Yet beauty, though injurious, hath strange power, After offense returning, to regain Love once possessed. --Milton.
2. To have the legal title to; to have a just right to; to be master of; to own; to have; as, to possess property, an estate, a book. I am yours, and all that I possess. --Shak.
3. To obtain occupation or possession of; to accomplish; to gain; to seize. How . . . to possess the purpose they desired. --Spenser.
4. To enter into and influence; to control the will of; to fill; to affect; -- said especially of evil spirits, passions, etc. ``Weakness possesseth me.'' --Shak. Those which were possessed with devils. --Matt. iv. 2
4. For ten inspired, ten thousand are possessed. --Roscommon.
5. To put in possession; to make the owner or holder of property, power, knowledge, etc.; to acquaint; to inform; -- followed by of or with before the thing possessed, and now commonly used reflexively. I have possessed your grace of what I purpose. --Shak. Record a gift . . . of all he dies possessed Unto his son. --Shak. We possessed our selves of the kingdom of Naples. --Addison. To possess our minds with an habitual good intention. --Addison. Syn: To have; hold; occupy; control; own. Usage: {Possess}, {Have}. Have is the more general word. To possess denotes to have as a property. It usually implies more permanence or definiteness of control or ownership than is involved in having. A man does not possess his wife and children: they are (so to speak) part of himself. For the same reason, we have the faculties of reason, understanding, will, sound judgment, etc.: they are exercises of the mind, not possessions.

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