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Supposedly vs. Supposably


[pree-puh-zes] /ˌpri pəˈzɛs/
verb (used with object)
to possess or dominate mentally beforehand, as a prejudice does.
to prejudice or bias, especially favorably.
to impress favorably beforehand or at the outset.
Origin of prepossess
1605-15; pre- + possess Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for prepossess
Historical Examples
  • He was a tall, fine-looking man, thin and not badly made, but there was something in his face which did not prepossess one.

    Wild Margaret Geraldine Fleming
  • The first view I had of this individual did not prepossess me in his favour.

    Sheilah McLeod Guy Boothby
  • But again I ask, do not strive to prepossess me against him.

    My Novel, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • I saw him again, as you shall hear, but he failed to prepossess me in his favour.

  • prepossess by your air, address, and manners; persuade by your tongue; and you will easily execute what your head has contrived.

  • If you prepossess your mind with a theme, you do not give him an even chance.

  • Their thin and pallid faces did not prepossess me in favour of the life they were leading.

    Dick Cheveley W. H. G. Kingston
  • He was a tall, stout fellow, but of a low and brutish appearance, which did not prepossess one in his favor.

  • What we hear of Frisby Morton does not tend to prepossess us in his favor.

    Christopher Quarles Percy James Brebner
  • His countenance wore a reckless look that did not serve to prepossess him with the people at whose mercy he stood.

    That Affair Next Door Anna Katharine Green
British Dictionary definitions for prepossess


verb (transitive)
to preoccupy or engross mentally
to influence in advance for or against a person or thing; prejudice; bias
to make a favourable impression on beforehand
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 prepossess

1610s, "to get possession of beforehand," from pre- + possess. Meaning "to possess (a person) beforehand with a feeling, notion, etc." is from 1630s; specifically, "to cause (someone) to have a favorable opinion of something" (1640s). Related: Prepossessed; prepossessing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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