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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
late Middle English
1425-1475
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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for un possessing

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
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Word Origin and History for un possessing

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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