Why was clemency trending last week?


[puh-zesh-uh n] /pəˈzɛʃ ən/
the act or fact of possessing.
the state of being possessed.
Law. actual holding or occupancy, either with or without rights of ownership.
a thing possessed:
He packed all his possessions into one trunk.
possessions, property or wealth.
a territorial dominion of a state.
  1. physical control of the ball or puck by a player or team:
    He didn't have full possession when he was tackled.
  2. the right of a team to put the ball into play:
    They had possession after the other team sank a free throw.
control over oneself, one's mind, etc.
domination, actuation, or obsession by a feeling, idea, etc.
the feeling or idea itself.
Origin of possession
1300-50; Middle English < Latin possessiōn- (stem of possessiō) occupancy, act of occupying, equivalent to possess(us), past participle of possidēre to have in one's control, occupy (and, in active sense, past participle of posīdere to seize upon) (*pots-, akin to posse to be able + -sidēre, combining form of sedēre to sit1; cf. host1) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
nonpossession, noun
1. tenure, occupation. 1, 3. See custody. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for possession
  • She had self-possession, and that was ownership enough.
  • People have always had myths of demonic possession.
  • Most of us understand what it is like to have an emotional connection with a cherished possession.
  • One might even say that all romance novels involve alien possession.
  • But now, the team is in possession of those encryption keys.
  • Wars were fought for possession of these scarce materials.
  • Hope is sweeter than possession.
  • In late May, the gnats were in full possession of my garden, and the strawberry flies had just arrived.
  • It's not a catch until the motion stops and the ball is in possession.
  • Once in possession of the lamp, the original Aladdin goes to work improving his fortunes.
British Dictionary definitions for possession


the act of possessing or state of being possessed: in possession of the crown
anything that is owned or possessed
(pl) wealth or property
the state of being controlled or dominated by or as if by evil spirits
the physical control or occupancy of land, property, etc, whether or not accompanied by ownership: to take possession of a house
a territory subject to a foreign state or to a sovereign prince: colonial possessions
(sport) control of the ball, puck, etc, as exercised by a player or team: he lost possession in his own half
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for possession

mid-14c., "act or fact of possessing, a taking possession, occupation," also "thing possessed, that which is possessed," from Old French possession "fact of having and holding; what is possessed;" also "demonic possession," and directly from Latin possessionem (nominative possessio), noun of action from past participle stem of possidere "to possess" (see possess). Legal property sense is earliest; demonic sense first recorded 1580s. Phrase possession is nine (or eleven) points of the law is out of a supposed 10 (or 12). With eleven from 1640s; with nine from 1690s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for possession



The state of having illegal drugs (1970+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for possession

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for possession

Scrabble Words With Friends