2. [syn: own, have, possess]
3. enter into and control, as of emotions or ideas;
- Example: "What possessed you to buy this house?"
- Example: "A terrible rage possessed her"
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Possess \Pos*sess"\ (?; 277), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Possessed;
p. pr. & vb. n. Possessing.] [L. possessus, p. p. of
possidere to have, possess, from an inseparable prep. (cf.
Position) + sedere to sit. See Sit.]
1. To occupy in person; to hold or actually have in one's own
keeping; to have and to hold.
Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed
again in this land. --Jer. xxxii.
Yet beauty, though injurious, hath strange power,
After offense returning, to regain
Love once possessed. --Milton.
2. To have the legal title to; to have a just right to; to be
master of; to own; to have; as, to possess property, an
estate, a book.
I am yours, and all that I possess. --Shak.
3. To obtain occupation or possession of; to accomplish; to
gain; to seize.
How . . . to possess the purpose they desired.
4. To enter into and influence; to control the will of; to
fill; to affect; -- said especially of evil spirits,
passions, etc. "Weakness possesseth me." --Shak.
Those which were possessed with devils. --Matt. iv.
For ten inspired, ten thousand are possessed.
5. To put in possession; to make the owner or holder of
property, power, knowledge, etc.; to acquaint; to inform;
-- followed by of or with before the thing possessed, and
now commonly used reflexively.
I have possessed your grace of what I purpose.
Record a gift . . . of all he dies possessed
Unto his son. --Shak.
We possessed our selves of the kingdom of Naples.
To possess our minds with an habitual good
Syn: To have; hold; occupy; control; own.
Usage: Possess, Have. Have is the more general word. To
possess denotes to have as a property. It usually
implies more permanence or definiteness of control or
ownership than is involved in having. A man does not
possess his wife and children: they are (so to speak)
part of himself. For the same reason, we have the
faculties of reason, understanding, will, sound
judgment, etc.: they are exercises of the mind, not
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
v 1: have as an attribute, knowledge, or skill; "he possesses
great knowledge about the Middle East"
2: have ownership or possession of; "He owns three houses in
Florida"; "How many cars does she have?" [syn: own, have,
3: enter into and control, as of emotions or ideas; "What
possessed you to buy this house?"; "A terrible rage possessed
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
133 Moby Thesaurus words for "possess":
achieve, acquire, appreciate, apprehend, be acquainted with,
be apprised of, be aware of, be cognizant of, be conscious of,
be conversant with, be enfeoffed of, be informed, be possessed of,
be seized of, bear, bedevil, beset, bewitch, boast, captivate,
carry, catch up, charm, claim, clap hands on, clasp, claw, clench,
clinch, clutch, cognize, come by, come into, command, compel,
comprehend, conceive, conceptualize, consume, contain, control,
demonize, devilize, diabolize, discern, dominate, drain off,
draw off, drive, embody, embrace, enchant, enjoy, fathom, fill,
gain, get, get hold of, glom on to, govern, grab, grab hold of,
grapple, grasp, grip, gripe, hant, haunt, have, have and hold,
have in hand, have information about, have knowledge of,
have tenure of, hex, hold, hoodoo, hug, impel, include, infatuate,
jinx, ken, know, lay hands on, lay hold of, loot, make out, nail,
nip, nip up, not let go, obsess, obtain, occupy, overlook, own,
palm, partake, perceive, pillage, pocket, prehend, preoccupy,
procure, realize, receive, recognize, retain, savvy, secure, see,
seize, snap up, snatch, spook, squat, squat on, steal, take,
take by assault, take by storm, take hold of, take possession,
take possession of, understand, usucapt, voodoo, whip up, win,
witch, wot, wot of