possess

To possess something is to have or own it. You can possess a physical object, you can possess a particular quality or skill, or you can possess control or influence over someone.

Related words are possessive (describing those who hold onto people or things in a controlling way), and possessed, as in a person being possessed by an idea or even by a demon. This verb is from Middle French possesser "to own," from Latin possidēre, from potis "able, having the power" plus sedēre "to sit."

Primary Meanings of possess

1.
v
have ownership or possession of
2.
v
enter into and control, as of emotions or ideas
Full Definitions of possess
1

v have ownership or possession of

Synonyms:
have, own
feature, have
have as a feature
Types:
prepossess
possess beforehand

v have as an attribute, knowledge, or skill

“he possesses great knowledge about the Middle East”
Types:
exhibit
show an attribute, property, knowledge, or skill
phosphoresce
to exhibit phosphorescence
Type of:
feature, have
have as a feature
2

v enter into and control, as of emotions or ideas

“What possessed you to buy this house?”
“A terrible rage possessed her”
Type of:
dominate
be in control

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