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possessive

[puh-zes-iv] /pəˈzɛs ɪv/
adjective
1.
jealously opposed to the personal independence of, or to any influence other than one's own upon, a child, spouse, etc.
2.
desirous of possessing, especially excessively so:
Young children are so possessive they will not allow others to play with their toys; a possessive lover.
3.
of or pertaining to possession or ownership.
4.
Grammar.
  1. indicating possession, ownership, origin, etc. His in his book is a possessive adjective. His in The book is his is a possessive pronoun.
  2. noting or pertaining to a case that indicates possession, ownership, origin, etc., as, in English, John's in John's hat.
noun, Grammar
5.
the possessive case.
6.
a form in the possessive.
Origin
1520-1530
1520-30; < Latin possessīvus. See possess, -ive
Related forms
possessively, adverb
possessiveness, noun
nonpossessive, adjective
nonpossessively, adverb
nonpossessiveness, noun
unpossessive, adjective
unpossessively, adverb
unpossessiveness, noun
Can be confused
possessive, possessory.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for possessive
  • Paleontologists are overly possessive of human fossils.
  • Cisco is picking up on that becoming dominant and possessive.
  • He loves to play with toys, and he is not possessive over them at all.
  • Later he starts to get weirder, and more possessive.
  • Of course, the possessive matriarch has become a cliche and a caricature customarily etched with warmly comic strokes.
  • From a watchful father figure he becomes a smarmy suitor and eventually a wildly jealous and possessive warden.
  • Name of the wage earner on whose record the overpayment happened, possessive case.
  • For instance, possessive apostrophes are rarely used.
British Dictionary definitions for possessive

possessive

/pəˈzɛsɪv/
adjective
1.
of or relating to possession or ownership
2.
having or showing an excessive desire to possess, control, or dominate: a possessive mother
3.
(grammar)
  1. another word for genitive (sense 1)
  2. denoting an inflected form of a noun or pronoun used to convey the idea of possession, association, etc, as my or Harry's
noun
4.
(grammar)
  1. the possessive case
  2. a word or speech element in the possessive case
Derived Forms
possessively, adverb
possessiveness, noun
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 possessive
adj.

mid-15c. (grammatical, also as a noun); 1550s in general use, from Middle French possessif (15c.) "relating to possession, possessive," and directly from Latin possessivus, from possess-, past participle stem of possidere "to possess" (see possess). Related: Possessively; possessiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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possessive in Culture

possessive definition


The case of a noun or pronoun that shows possession. Nouns are usually made possessive by adding an apostrophe and s: “The bicycle is Sue's, not Mark's.” Possessive pronouns can take the place of possessive nouns: “The bicycle is hers, not his.” (See nominative case and objective case.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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