dis·pos·sess | \ˌdis-pə-ˈzes also -ˈses \

Definition of dispossess 

transitive verb

: to put out of possession or occupancy dispossessed the nobles of their land

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Other Words from dispossess

dispossession \-ˈze-shən also -ˈse- \ noun
dispossessor \-ˈze-sər also -ˈse- \ noun

Synonyms for dispossess


divest, expropriate, oust

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Examples of dispossess in a Sentence

The land was settled by dispossessing the native people who lived here. opponents of gentrification claim that the process unfairly dispossesses poorer residents of their long-established homes

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Arsenal were left silenced early in the match as the visiting team started brightly, pacing forwards towards David Ospina's goal, pressing the home side and dispossessing them at any opportunity. SI.com, "Arsenal 1-2 Östersunds FK: Hapless Gunners Progress on Aggregate as Swedish Side Produce Famous Win," 22 Feb. 2018 The Kakuma Refugee Camp, 80 miles from anywhere in northwest Kenya, is a world apart, a holding center for thousands dispossessed by war and conflict. Deirdre Fernandes, BostonGlobe.com, "An education in hope," 7 July 2018 Lokomotiv should have found their second equaliser of the game in the 59th minute, but Eder took too long to get a shot away from inside the Atletico box and was dispossessed by Luis. SI.com, "Lokomotiv Moscow 1-5 Atletico Madrid: Torres' Brace Sees Visitors Cruise Through to Quarters," 15 Mar. 2018 But the reality is that, for most of this country’s history, one tribe has held power, deciding who was allowed to settle the land and who could be dispossessed, who was free and who was enslaved, who had the right to vote and who did not. Laila Lalami, New York Times, "Does American ‘Tribalism’ End in a Compromise, or a Fight?," 26 June 2018 Yep, all one-party towns ignoring the dispossessed as uniformly leftist as MSNBC and every bit is removed from reality. Fox News, "President Trump puts NATO on notice," 12 July 2018 Mining rushes from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the Black Hills and from Montana to New Mexico dispossessed native tribes of their ancestral homelands. Gregory Crouch, Smithsonian, "The Mining Millionaire Americans Couldn’t Help But Love," 6 June 2018 Word quickly spread among the poor and dispossessed in Port-au-Prince and other urban areas about the potential to make a new start. Hal Bernton, The Seattle Times, "Trump is telling those who fled Haiti earthquake to leave the U.S. What will they go back to?," 28 May 2018 If both sides perceive that losing Jerusalem dispossesses them not only of land but also of sacred resources, certain compromises become unacceptable. Amy Erica Smith, Vox, "Religious conflict in Jerusalem may not have political solutions," 18 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dispossess.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dispossess

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dispossess

Middle French despossesser, from des- dis- + possesser to possess

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Phrases Related to dispossess

the dispossessed

Statistics for dispossess

Last Updated

12 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for dispossess

The first known use of dispossess was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of dispossess

: to take land, possessions, etc., from (someone)


transitive verb
dis·pos·sess | \ˌdis-pə-ˈzes \

Legal Definition of dispossess 

: to put out of possession or occupancy — compare evict

Other Words from dispossess

dispossession \-ˈze-shən \ noun
dispossessor \-ˈze-sər \ noun

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Comments on dispossess

What made you want to look up dispossess? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to teach someone the beliefs of a group

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