possess: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (pu-zes'), [key]
— v.t.
  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, esp. 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 fol. 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.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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