possessed by


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.
self-possessed; poised.
possessed of, having; possessing: He is possessed of intelligence and ambition.

1525–35; possess + -ed2

possessedly [puh-zes-id-lee, -zest-lee] , adverb
possessedness, noun
nonpossessed, adjective
unpossessed, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
possessed (pəˈzɛst)
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

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

mid-15c., "to hold, occupy, reside in" (without regard to ownership), from O.Fr. possessier (mid-13c.), from L. possess-, pp. stem of possidere "to possess." Meaning "to hold as property" is recorded from c.1500. Demonic sense is recorded from 1530s (implied in possessed). Possessive first attested 1520s
in grammatical sense.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

possessed by

Driven by, obsessed with, as in He was possessed by the idea of becoming a millionaire. This idiom employs possess in the sense of "dominate one's thoughts or ideas," a usage dating from the late 1500s.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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