Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Possession

Pos-ses′sion

,
Noun.
[F.
possession
, L.
possessio
.]
1.
The act or state of possessing, or holding as one’s own.
2.
(Law)
The having, holding, or detention of property in one's power or command; actual seizin or occupancy; ownership, whether rightful or wrongful.
☞ Possession may be either actual or constructive; actual, when a party has the immediate occupancy; constructive, when he has only the right to such occupancy.
3.
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
.
Matt. xix. 22.
Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a
possession
.
Acts v. 1.
The house of Jacob shall possess their
possessions
.
Ob. 17.
4.
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?
Shakespeare
To give possession
,
to put in another's power or occupancy.
To put in possession
.
(a)
To invest with ownership or occupancy; to provide or furnish with; as, to put one in possession of facts or information
.
(b)
(Law)
To place one in charge of property recovered in ejectment or writ of entry.
To take possession
,
to enter upon, or to bring within one's power or occupancy.
Writ of possession
(Law)
,
a precept directing a sheriff to put a person in peaceable possession of property recovered in ejectment or writ of entry.

Pos-ses′sion

,
Verb.
T.
To invest with property.
[Obs.]

Webster 1828 Edition


Possession

POSSES'SION

,
Noun.
The having, holding or detention of property in one's power or command; actual seizin or occupancy, either rightful or wrongful. One man may have the possession of a thing, and another may have the right of possession or property.
If the possession is severed from the property; if A has the right of property, and B by unlawful means has gained possession, this is an injury to A. This is a bare or naked possession.
In bailment, the bailee, who receives goods to convey, or to keep for a time, has the possession of the goods, and a temporary right over them, but not the property. Property in possession, includes both the right and the occupation. Long undisturbed possession is presumptive proof of right or property in the possessor.
1.
The thing possessed; land, estate or goods owned; as foreign possessions.
The house of Jacob shall possess their possessions. Obad.17.
When the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Matt.19.
2.
Any thing valuable possessed or enjoyed. Christian peace of mind is the best possession of life.
3.
The state of being under the power of demons or invisible beings; madness; lunacy; as demoniacal possession.
Writ of possession, a precept directing a sheriff to put a person in peaceable possession of property recovered in ejectment.
To take possession, to enter on, or to bring within one's power or occupancy.
To give possession, to put in another's power or occupancy.

POSSES'SION

,
Verb.
T.
To invest with property. [Not used.]

Definition 2022


possession

possession

English

Noun

possession (countable and uncountable, plural possessions)

  1. Control or occupancy of something for which one does not necessarily have private property rights.
  2. Something that is owned.
    The car quickly became his most prized possession.
    I would gladly give all of my worldly possessions just to be able to do that.
  3. Ownership; taking, holding, keeping something as one's own.
    The car is in my possession.
    I'm in possession of the car.
  4. A territory under the rule of another country.
    Réunion is the largest of France's overseas possessions.
  5. The condition or affliction of being possessed by a demon or other supernatural entity.
    Back then, people with psychiatric disorders were sometimes thought to be victims of demonic possession.
    • Shakespeare
      How long hath this possession held the man?
  6. (sports) Control of the ball; the opportunity to be on the offensive.
    The scoreboard shows a little football symbol next to the name of the team that has possession.
    • 2010 December 29, Chris Whyatt, “Chelsea 1 - 0 Bolton”, in BBC:
      Their first half was marred by the entire side playing too deep, completely unable to build up any form of decent possession once the ball left their bewildered defence.
  7. (linguistics) A syntactic relationship between two nouns or nominals that may be used to indicate ownership.
    Some languages distinguish between a construction like 'my car', which shows alienable possession — the car could become someone else's — and one like 'my foot', which has inalienable possession — my foot will always be mine.

Usage notes

  • One who possesses is often said to have possession (of), hold possession (of), or be in possession (of).
  • One who acquires is often said to take possession (of), gain possession (of), or come into possession (of).

Synonyms

  • ight (obsolete)
  • (taking, holding, keeping something as one's own): owndom, retention
  • See also Wikisaurus:property

Antonyms

  • (taking, holding, keeping something as one's own): absence

Translations

Verb

possession (third-person singular simple present possessions, present participle possessioning, simple past and past participle possessioned)

  1. (obsolete) To invest with property.

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: ways · grave · serious · #953: possession · move · foreign · native

French

Etymology

From Latin possessionem (nominative of possessio)

Pronunciation

Noun

possession f (plural possessions)

  1. possession