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possessed

[puh-zest] /pəˈzɛst/
adjective
1.
spurred or moved by a strong feeling, madness, or a supernatural power (often followed by by, of, or with):
The army fought as if possessed. The village believed her to be possessed of the devil.
2.
self-possessed; poised.
Idioms
3.
possessed of, having; possessing:
He is possessed of intelligence and ambition.
Origin
1525-1535
1525-35; possess + -ed2
Related forms
possessedly
[puh-zes-id-lee, -zest-lee] /pəˈzɛs ɪd li, -ˈzɛst li/ (Show IPA),
adverb
possessedness, noun
nonpossessed, adjective
unpossessed, adjective

possess

[puh-zes] /pəˈzɛs/
verb (used with object)
1.
to have as belonging to one; have as property; own:
to possess a house and a car.
2.
to have as a faculty, quality, or the like:
to possess courage.
3.
(of a spirit, especially an evil one) to occupy, dominate, or control (a person) from within:
He thought he was possessed by devils.
4.
(of a feeling, idea, etc.) to dominate or actuate in the manner of such a spirit:
He was possessed by envy.
5.
(of a man) to succeed in having sexual intercourse with.
6.
to have knowledge of:
to possess a language.
7.
to keep or maintain (oneself, one's mind, etc.) in a certain state, as of peace, patience, etc.
8.
to maintain control over (oneself, one's mind, etc.).
9.
to impart to; inform; familiarize (often followed by of or with):
to possess someone of the facts of the case.
10.
to cause to be dominated or influenced, as by an idea, feeling, etc.
11.
to make (someone) owner, holder, or master, as of property, information, etc.:
He possessed them of the facts.
12.
to seize or take.
13.
to gain or win.
14.
to occupy or hold.
Origin
1425-75; late Middle English possesen < Middle French possess(i)er, noun derivative of possession possession
Related forms
possessor, noun
possessorship, noun
underpossessor, noun
unpossessing, adjective
Synonyms
1. See have.

Possessed, The

noun
1.
a novel (1871) by Dostoevsky.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for possessed
  • Some die from the effort, others give up, all are possessed by the sense that they are living close to a divine presence.
  • The gun would move all over the place like it was possessed.
  • By the age of 12, he had mastered Euclidean geometry, moved on to calculus and possessed a solid grasp of deductive reasoning.
  • The wonder faded and undiluted horror possessed Ulysses.
  • Darwin possessed a copy of Mendel's book–the book was found in his library after his death, the pages uncut.
  • He possessed, too, a valor hardly to be comprehended.
  • When scientist felt the mentally ill were possessed, criminal science eventually corrected their view.
  • Next in line is Paula, the self-possessed psychotherapist.
  • However, it should be noted that this edit possessed much more substance and was thoroughly appreciated.
  • The snow has possessed the mountains.
British Dictionary definitions for possessed

possessed

/pəˈzɛst/
adjective
1.
(foll by of) owning or having
2.
(usually postpositive) under the influence of a powerful force, such as a spirit or strong emotion
3.
a less common word for self-possessed

possess

/pəˈzɛs/
verb (transitive)
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
Derived Forms
possessor, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French possesser, from Latin possidēre to own, occupy; related to Latin sedēre to sit
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for possessed
adj.

"controlled by an indwelling demon," 1530s, past participle adjective from possess (v.).

possess

v.

late 14c., "to hold, occupy, reside in" (without regard to ownership), a back formation from possession and in part from Old French possesser "to have and hold, take, be in possession of" (mid-13c.), from Latin possess-, past participle stem of possidere "to have and hold, possess, be master of, own," from posse "to be able," from potis "able, powerful" (see potent) + esse "to be" (see be). Meaning "to hold as property" is recorded from c.1500. Demonic sense is recorded from 1530s (implied in possessed). Related: Possessed; possessing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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