• WordNet 3.6
    • n possession anything owned or possessed
    • n possession the act of having and controlling property
    • n possession (sport) the act of controlling the ball (or puck) "they took possession of the ball on their own goal line"
    • n possession the trait of resolutely controlling your own behavior
    • n possession a territory that is controlled by a ruling state
    • n possession a mania restricted to one thing or idea
    • n possession being controlled by passion or the supernatural
    • ***

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.
    • Possession The act or state of possessing, or holding as one's own.
    • Possession (Law) The having, holding, or detention of property in one's power or command; actual seizin or occupancy; ownership, whether rightful or wrongful.
    • Possession The state of being possessed or controlled, as by an evil spirit, or violent passions; madness; frenzy; as, demoniacal possession . "How long hath this possession held the man?"
    • Possession The thing possessed; that which any one occupies, owns, or controls; in the plural, property in the aggregate; wealth; dominion; as, foreign possessions . "When the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions .""Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession .""The house of Jacob shall possess their possessions ."
    • v. t Possession To invest with property.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n possession The act of possessing, or the state of being possessed; the having, holding, or detaining of property in one's power or control; the state of owning or controlling; actual seizing or occupancy, either rightful or wrongful. One man may have the possession of a thing, and another may have the right of property in it.
    • n possession In law, the physical control which belongs of right to unqualified ownership; the having a thing in such manner as to exclude the control of other persons; that detention of or dominion over a thing by one person which precludes others from the adverse physical occupancy of or dominion over it. In modern law the legal conception of possession is intermediate between the conception of right and that of physical occupancy, and shares something of the qualities of both; but there is great difference of view as to the precise signification and the resulting proprieties of use. In general. all are agreed that a master has possession of a thing which belongs to him but is in the hand of his servant, however far away; but a lender has not possession of a chattel in the hand of the borrower. In respect to real estate, the landlord was formerly said to have possession, and the tenant was not said to possess or have possession, but only to be in possession. The distinction is now more commonly expressed by saying that the tenant has actual possession (pedis possessio), although the legal possession may be in the landlord. The servant's or tenant's possession is legal in the sense of being lawful, but is not the legal possession in the sense in which that term is used in contrast to mere physical occupancy without any right of ownership. Possession is sometimes said to involve the intent to exclude others, but a man may have possession without such intent, as where he has given a thing away, and it has not been removed; or even without the consciousness of possessing, as where a thing is forgotten or supposed to be lost. In Roman law, possession required not only physical control, but also the animus domini. When these two elements concurred, there existed a right which was protected against everybody, including the rightful owner. If he disturbed the possession, he could not in defense to the action (interdict) brought by the possessor plead title, but he had to resort to a separate action in order to assert his right. It was not necessary in order to make this protection that the possession should be in good faith, but good faith was necessary in order to make possession ripen into title by prescription. In some modern systems of law, for example the French code, possession acquired in good faith giyes an ownership of chattels.
    • n possession The thing possessed; in the plural, goods, land, or rights owned; belongings: as, your friendship is one of my richest possessions; the French possessions.
    • n possession Hence Property; wealth.
    • n possession In international law, a country or territory held by right of conquest.
    • n possession Persuasion; conviction.
    • n possession The state of being under the control of evil spirits or of madness; madness; lunacy: as, demoniacal possession.
    • possession To invest with property.
    • n possession In the terminology of psychical research, a change of mental disposition, occurring in the state of trance, so marked as to suggest the substitution of a novel personality for the known personality of the subject.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Possession act of possessing: the thing possessed: a country taken by conquest: property: state of being possessed, as by an evil spirit: madness
    • ***


  • Anthony J. D'Angelo
    Anthony J. D'Angelo
    “Treasure your relationships, not your possessions.”
  • B. C. Forbes
    “Real riches are the riches possessed inside.”
  • Billy Graham
    “There is nothing wrong with men possessing riches. The wrong comes when riches possess men.”
  • George S. Patton
    “The most vital quality a soldier can possess is self-confidence.”
  • Vida D. Scudder
    Vida D. Scudder
    “Creation is a better means of self-expression than possession; it is through creating, not possessing, that life is revealed.”
  • Henry Van Dyke
    “Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. possession, L. possessio,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. possidēre, possessum.


In literature:

What possesses you to-night?
"The Daughters of Danaus" by Mona Caird
He possesses other traits, which with reason might commend him to the regard of the Emperor.
"Aurelian" by William Ware
Dragonetti, the famous Double-Bass player, and coadjutor of Lindley, possessed similar powers, and used similar strings as regards size.
"The Violin" by George Hart
It possesses all the necessary requirements to be a first-class nation.
"Across Coveted Lands" by Arnold Henry Savage Landor
There are many who have a vague idea that Brazil is a German colony; others, more patriotic, who claim it as an English possession.
"Across Unknown South America" by Arnold Henry Savage Landor
Though keen in debate, he was however possessed of a most imperturbable suavity of temper.
"The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volumes I-VI." by Various
This Council seems to have been suggested by the veto power possessed by the King's Privy Council.
"A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3" by DeAlva Stanwood Alexander
A. J. Balfour, M.P., possess good working libraries, but disclaim the possession of what are known as 'collector's' books.
"The Book-Hunter in London" by William Roberts
A lady in France possessed a cat which exhibited great affection for her.
"Stories of Animal Sagacity" by W.H.G. Kingston
Luxurious possessions appear to be a forcing-bed in which the seeds of sleeping vices waken into strength.
"My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year" by John Henry Jowett
Men must oppose with every energy they possess what seems to them to oppose the eternal course of things.
"Natural Law in the Spiritual World" by Henry Drummond
A fleet, also, was sent to take possession of Cherbourg, which had been mortgaged by the King of Navarre to the English.
"How Britannia Came to Rule the Waves" by W.H.G. Kingston
We alone possessed the tremendous secret!
"The Goddess of Atvatabar" by William R. Bradshaw
A war was fought with France for the possession of the Ohio country.
"The Greater Republic" by Charles Morris
He it is who must hold possession of 'the green book,' or who has had it in his keeping.
"The Green Book" by Mór Jókai
And the more men you possess, the more life you possess, the more souls you creep into.
"The Song of Songs" by Hermann Sudermann
Be sure I need all the powers of my mind, all the strength that I possess, to come to a determination.
"Too Rich" by Adolph Streckfuss
The people of Niagara in 1796, being in possession, naturally thought that the distinction ought to continue with them.
"Toronto of Old" by Henry Scadding
The cause of dispute was the possession of an unknown fair one.
"Peculiarities of American Cities" by Willard Glazier
Cursed be you in your food and your possessions, from the dog that barks for you to the cock that crows for you!
"God Wills It!" by William Stearns Davis

In poetry:

He likewise for a certainty must know,
Whether he does a lively faith possess
In all the mercies, that so freely flow
From God, thro' Christ — whom we must ever bless:
"The Lord's Prayer" by Rees Prichard
Love still closer rivets now their lips,
Tears they mingle with their rapture blest,
From his mouth the flame she wildly sips,
Each is with the other's thought possess'd.
"The Bride Of Corinth" by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Thou art so pale, I hardly dare caress thee,
Too brown my fingers show against the white.
Ahi, the glory, that I should possess thee,
Ahi, the grief, but for a single night!
"Song Of Jasoda" by Laurence Hope
But thou shalt live with endless pleasure crown'd,
And of eternal happiness possess'd,
With myriads of his angels guarded round,
To praise thy gracious God among the bless'd.
"Another Conference Between The Devout Sick Man, And His Soul" by Rees Prichard
I have no right to say
That though I now am poor,
Yet once there was a day
When I possessed more:
Thou know'st that from my very birth,
I've been the poorest wretch on earth.
"The Beggar" by John Newton
Invoke thy heav'nly Sire, each stated hour,
Seek thou his kingdom and his righteousness,
In his Son's name, with spirit and with pow'r,
And thou shalt largely all the rest possess.
"Advice To Prepare Ourselves, Before We Come To Worship God In Public" by Rees Prichard

In news:

Patricia Smith and William Smith are facing delinquency of a minor and marijuana possession charges.
The Department of Natural Resources' Fisheries Division is asking for public input on potential changes to brook trout daily possession limits for Upper Peninsula streams.
The life of almost any man possessing great gifts, would be a sad book to himself.
WHATEVER possessed me last summer to take my children to three places damaged by violent acts of man or God.
Not all child's play for Natasha Calis in 'The Possession'.
She made a quick call to her parents to make sure it was OK to watch the 1973 film starring Linda Blair as a young girl possessed by demons.
Four men are under investigation for theft and possessing stolen property after police on Thursday searched what they're describing as suspected " chop shop " in the Lynnwood area.
COLORADO CITY — The Coahoma Bulldogettes had one thing on their minds Tuesday — avenge their only District 3-2A loss to the Colorado City Lady Wolves and take sole possession of first place in the highly competitive region.
Snowden will have his marijuana possession case heard by a Baltimore jury.
Civil rights leader arrested on marijuana possession charges.
Our possessions tell our stories.
Flores was charged with possession of a controlled substance.
Several persons under 21 years of age were issued tickets for Possession of Alcoholic Beverages.
It possesses a crunch rivaled only by the best pickles.
In fantasy baseball, pitchers who ring up large numbers of strikeouts are a prized possession.

In science:

Each smooth manifold M possesses canonical vertical lift of vectors from M to T M .
On the concept of normal shift in non-metric geometry
Direct sum (4.1) possesses structure of graded algebra over the ring of smooth scalar functions in T M , we denote this ring by F(T M ).
On the concept of normal shift in non-metric geometry
It is easy to see that it possesses the structure of F(T M )-module.
On the concept of normal shift in non-metric geometry
Q = 2.4 GeV PDA is neither asymptotic, nor possesses the structure proposed in early works .
Pion Structure at High and Low Energies in Chiral Quark Models
The resulting conclusion coming from (1.2) is that this model possesses a critical value qcr , where f (1) (q) changes its analytical structure.
Limit Theorem for Sums of Random Products
B) When some eigenvalue is larger than one, the model is supercritical, and the graphs a.a.s. possess a giant component; its number ni of vertices of type i asymptotical ly satisfies ni /N ∼ ri (1 − fi ), where the fi correspond to a stable solution of Eq. (7).
A General Formalism for Inhomogeneous Random Graphs
In fact, due to (4) the condition epij ≪ 1 is not fulfilled for pairs of vertices i and j possessing large degrees ki and kj .
Average path length in random networks
Supernova 1987A therefore seems to possess an intrinsic, global asymmetry.
Explosion Mechanisms of Massive Stars
We concentrate a priori onto instances C [~x] which possess a non-empty solution set SC .
Constraint Satisfaction by Survey Propagation
This, however, does not necessarily mean that the spacetime possesses co-moving ellipsoidal symmetry in the sense of Definition 3, because that would also require Ω2 = 1 for the conformal factor Ω2 introduced in equation (3.1).
Ellipsoidal shapes in general relativity: general definitions and an application
We emphasize, however, that other perfect-fluid metrics (i.e., different from (4.32)), satisfying the integrability conditions for spacetimes with Dav and Daω linearly independent and possessing confocal inside ellipsoidal symmetry might exist as well.
Ellipsoidal shapes in general relativity: general definitions and an application
We look, in detail, at one example - supersymmetric quantum mechanics which possesses two such BRST symmetries.
Lattice Supersymmetry and Topological Field Theory
In this case we recognize our simple model as a lattice regularized version of supersymmetric quantum mechanics - a model well known to possess a topological field theory interpretation .
Lattice Supersymmetry and Topological Field Theory
We discuss some of the generic features of such theories in the next section but suffice it to say here that such theories possess observables whose expectation values are metric independent.
Lattice Supersymmetry and Topological Field Theory
In the continuum where S(1) = S(2) the action of supersymmetric quantum mechanics would then possess two BRST invariances.
Lattice Supersymmetry and Topological Field Theory