• WordNet 3.6
    • v possess have ownership or possession of "He owns three houses in Florida","How many cars does she have?"
    • v possess have as an attribute, knowledge, or skill "he possesses great knowledge about the Middle East"
    • v possess enter into and control, as of emotions or ideas "What possessed you to buy this house?","A terrible rage possessed her"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Map Showing Routes of Cartier, Champlain, and La Salle, also French and English Possessions at the Time of the Last French War Map Showing Routes of Cartier, Champlain, and La Salle, also French and English Possessions at the Time of the Last...
Self-possession of Fabricius, the Ambassador, under rather Trying Circumstances Self-possession of Fabricius, the Ambassador, under rather Trying Circumstances

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Anti-modem laws restrict Internet access in the country of Burma. Illegal possession of a modem can lead to a prison term.
    • Possess To enter into and influence; to control the will of; to fill; to affect; -- said especially of evil spirits, passions, etc. "Weakness possesseth me.""Those which were possessed with devils.""For ten inspired, ten thousand are possessed ."
    • Possess 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 ."
    • Possess To obtain occupation or possession of; to accomplish; to gain; to seize. "How . . . to possess the purpose they desired."
    • Possess 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.""Yet beauty, though injurious, hath strange power,
      After offense returning, to regain
      Love once possessed ."
    • Possess 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.""We possessed our selves of the kingdom of Naples.""To possess our minds with an habitual good intention."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • possess To own; have as a belonging, property, characteristic, or attribute.
    • possess To seize; take possession of; make one's self master of.
    • possess To put in possession; make master or owner, whether by force or legally: with of before the thing, and now generally used in the passive or reflexively: as, to possess one's self of another's secret; to be or stand possessed of a certain manor.
    • possess To have and hold; occupy in person; hence, to inhabit.
    • possess To occupy; keep; maintain; entertain: mostly with a reflexive reference.
    • possess To imbue; impress: with with before the thing.
    • possess To take possession of; fascinate; enthrall; affect or influence so intensely or thoroughly as to dominate or overpower: with with before the thing that fills or dominates.
    • possess To have complete power or mastery over; dominate; control, as an evil spirit, influence, or passion: generally in the passive, with by, of, or with.
    • possess To put in possession of information; inform; tell; acquaint; persuade; convince.
    • possess To attain; achieve; accomplish.
    • possess Synonyms Have, Possess, Hold, Own, Occupy. Have is the most general of these words; it may apply to a temporary or to a permanent possession of a thing, to the having of that which is one's own or another's: as, to have good judgment; to have another's letter by mistake. Possess generally applies to that which is external to the possessor, or, if not external, is viewed as something to be used: as, to possess a library; if we say a man possesses hands, we mean that he has them to work with; to possess reason is to have it with the thought of what can be done with it. To hold is to have in one's hands to control, not necessarily as one's own: as, to hold a fan or a dog for a lady; to hold a title-deed; to hold the stakes for a contest. To own is to have a good and legal title to; one may own that which he does not hold or occupy and cannot get into his possession, as a missing umbrella or a stolen horse. Occupy is chiefly physical: as, to occupy a house; one may occupy that which he does not own, as a chair, room, office, position.
    • possess Holding Corioli in the name of Rome.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Possess poz-zes′ to have or hold as an owner: to have the control of: to inform: to seize: to enter into and influence: to put (one's self) in possession (of): :
    • v.t Possess poz-zes′ (Spens.) to achieve
    • v.t Possess poz-zes′ (Shak.) put in possession of information, convince
    • ***


  • Dale Carnegie
    “Most of us have far more courage than we ever dreamed we possessed.”
  • Napoleon Hill
    “When your desires are strong enough you will appear to possess superhuman powers to achieve.”
  • Kahlil Gibran
    “You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”
  • Democritus
    “Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.”
  • Daphne Du Maurier
    Daphne Du Maurier
    “Happiness is not a possession to be prized. It is a quality of thought, a state of mind.”
  • Young
    “An idea discovered is much better possessed.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. possessus, p. p. of possidere, to have, possess, from an inseparable prep. (cf. Position) + sedere, to sit. See Sit
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. possidēre, possessum.


In literature:

They entered in, and dwelt together: and the second possession was worse than the first.
"Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3)" by Thomas Babington Macaulay
The vote of the West, during this struggle, was of the first importance, as it possessed the balance of power, and could turn the scale at will.
"Cotton is King and The Pro-Slavery Arguments" by Various
What a blessing it is to possess such steadiness of nerve!
"The Land of Thor" by J. Ross Browne
He turned pale, but soon regained his self-possession.
"The Cryptogram" by James De Mille
Such a mind the world does not possess.
"Epistle Sermons, Vol. II" by Martin Luther
The Papacy, then in possession of supremacy over the world, made common cause with royalty.
"A History of England Principally in the Seventeenth Century, Volume I (of 6)" by Leopold von Ranke
He had something to lose which he was afraid of losing, which he was not sure even of possessing.
"The Rainbow" by D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
Scarcely one seemed to possess the incentive to breathe a whisper.
"The Story of the Great War, Volume II (of VIII)" by Various
His nose possessed that wonderful aquilinity associated with the highest type of Indian.
"The Twins of Suffering Creek" by Ridgwell Cullum
There are indeed few animals who possess so many tricks of all kinds to gain possession of their prey.
"The Industries of Animals" by Frédéric Houssay
But why does she not possess it herself?
"The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume IV" by Various
Like the latter it is specialized for sexual irritation and possesses very sensitive nerves.
"The Sexual Question" by August Forel
Jim gave him a quick glance as he moved across the room and possessed himself of the remaining pistol.
"The One-Way Trail" by Ridgwell Cullum
Remember, 'He who gains the youth, possesses the future,' as the saying goes.
"Carmen Ariza" by Charles Francis Stocking
I was a girl, inexperienced, innocent of coquetry, and yet I possessed all the instincts of a woman.
"Beyond the Frontier" by Randall Parrish
Probably all think it so but those who possess, or fancy they possess, it.
"Shirley" by Charlotte Brontë
The principal members of our government should possess the highest stamp of character, for never did there exist a purer people.
"A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital" by John Beauchamp Jones
And such minds are possessed of all the power of the province.
"Familiar Letters of John Adams and His Wife Abigail Adams During the Revolution" by John Adams
A fresh feeling of shame took possession of Leo.
"The Undying Past" by Hermann Sudermann
To make doubly secure their possession of Hill 304, the French pushed on beyond it for a distance of about a mile and a quarter.
"The Story of the Great War, Volume VII (of VIII)" by Various

In poetry:

The star of the unconquered will,
He rises in my breast,
Serene, and resolute, and still,
And calm, and self-possessed.
"The Red Planet Mars" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
'Alas! the change that time had made!
My ancient friends were gone;
Another race possess'd the walls,
And I was left alone!
"A Tale" by John Logan
When sinners fall, the righteous stand,
Preserved from every snare;
They shall possess the promised land,
And dwell for ever there.
"Psalm 37 part 2" by Isaac Watts
If I possessed such wondrous wings,
I would soar and sing to heaven,
Till my freed soul from sordid things,
Should thus be widely riven.
"Of A Skylark" by James Avis Bartley
This night, vain fool, thy soul must pass
Into a world unknown;
And who shall then the stores possess
Which thou hast called thine own.
"The Worldling" by John Newton
Sinne being gone, oh fill the place,
And keep possession with thy grace;
Lest sinne take courage and return,
And all the writings blot or burn.
"Good Friday" by George Herbert

In news:

Natasha Calis, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick celebrate at the Lure afterparty in Hollywood for Lionsgate's "The Possession.".
Lionsgate's "The Possession" is a chilling scarer, but guests enjoyed a low-key evening at the movie's Hollywood premiere.
School custodian charged with possessing child porn.
A custodian at an elementary school on Long Island is under arrest Tuesday, charged with possession of child pornography.
AP File Photo A Toms River school custodian was charged with possession and distribution of child pornography.
Metalix was born in 1990 when an unholy spirit possessed Uncle Nasty then compelled him to play underground metal on the airwaves of Denver's KBPI radio.
A Mexican woman has been arrested at the southern Arizona border for allegedly possessing animal tranquilizers often used in the commission of " date rape " sexual assaults.
The Possession is supposedly based on a true story.
Brian Donoher, Kettering Fairmont High School athletic director was charged with soliciting a prostitute, a third-degree misdemeanor, and possessing a criminal tool, a first-degree misdemeanor.
MLive.com File Would you vote yes or no on a proposal to decriminalize marijuana possession and use in Grand Rapids.
After months of discussion and weeks of debate, Chicago's move to decriminalize low-level marijuana possession sails through City Council with virtually no dissent.
New York's Republicans have shot down a bill that would have decriminalized the public possession of nearly an ounce of marijuana.
A bill decriminalizing possession of up to a half ounce of marijuana has advanced with bipartisan support in the New Jersey Legislature.
TRENTON — An Assembly panel is set to hear a bill Monday that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, making the offense similar to a parking violation.
Detroit voters looking to weigh in a ballot proposal that would decriminalize possession of a small amount of marijuana may have to keep waiting.

In science:

They have as typical fibre a usual vector space, and possess local trivializations with suitable properties.
Locally trivial quantum vector bundles and associated vector bundles
It has long been known that supernova remnants (SNRs) possess magnetic fields.
OH Zeeman Magnetic Field Detections Toward Five Supernova Remnants Using the VLA
The Sch¨odinger equation for an oscillator possesses two parameters – the energy E and the cyclic frequency ω .
Dyon-Oscillator Duality
If M is an arbitrary manifold, the vector bundle T M × R → M possesses a natural Lie algebroid structure.
Generalized Lie bialgebroids and Jacobi structures
Let us suppose there exists an action ˜A[H ] which possesses the vacuum solution Hv and describes well-defined space-time dynamics of H .
Point particle in general background fields and generalized equivalence principle
These field theories possess nontrivial classical solutions .
Conformal field theory, boundary conditions and applications to string theory
The N = 1 Virasoro algebra also possesses a geometric interpretation.
Conformal field theory, boundary conditions and applications to string theory
Rational VOAs possess two surprising properties : The homogeneous subspaces M(n) of the representation spaces M are finite-dimensional, and there are only finitely many inequivalent irreducible representations.
Conformal field theory, boundary conditions and applications to string theory
Superconformal chiral CFTs with N = 2 supersymmetry possess in addition at least one more simple current, which we call s.
Conformal field theory, boundary conditions and applications to string theory
Note that the horizontal row sequences possess periods 3n .
Exact solutions to chaotic and stochastic systems
Note that only a nonsingular bicomplex number can possess an inverse.
Bicomplex algebra and function theory
We always assume that the C ∗ -algebras possess a unit 1.
Charakterizations of the Generators of Positive Semigroups on C*- and von Neumann Algebras
The term Schmidt correlated refers to any density matrix or set of density matrices which have eigenvectors possessing the same Schmidt basis.
Optimal local discrimination of two multipartite pure states
It is nondegenerate almost surely and it possesses a natural volume element induced by the standard metric in RPn .
SU(1,1) Random Polynomials
The CP 1 -submodel possesses an infinite number of conserved currents and a wide class of exact solutions.
Integrable Submodels of Nonlinear $\sigma$-models and Their Generalization