dis·​pos·​sess | \ ˌdis-pə-ˈzes How to pronounce dispossess (audio) also -ˈses\
dispossessed; dispossessing; dispossesses

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 \ ˌdis-​pə-​ˈze-​shən How to pronounce dispossession (audio) also  -​ˈse-​ \ noun
dispossessor \ ˌdis-​pə-​ˈze-​sər How to pronounce dispossessor (audio) 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

Recent Examples on the Web

But Democrats seem determined to make sure the dispossessed don’t cross into their camp. Alan Murray, Fortune, "Bashing Big Business at the Democratic Debates: CEO Daily," 28 June 2019 Since the 1940s, African American farmers have been dispossessed of their land with the help of government agencies. Calvin Schermerhorn, Twin Cities, "Calvin Schermerhorn: Why the racial wealth gap persists more than 150 years after emancipation," 27 June 2019 Nine minutes after Jamaica repelled a brief El Salvadorian onslaught that featured back-to-back shots and shouts for a handball foul, Jamaican defender Damion Lowe ventured into the box but was dispossessed. Glynn A. Hill, Houston Chronicle, "Jamaica, El Salvador play to scoreless draw in Gold Cup," 21 June 2019 Sitting Bull was a Sioux chief who saw his people slaughtered, despoiled, and dispossessed before he himself was killed. Marc-olivier Bherer, Harper's magazine, "No Reservations," 10 May 2019 After dispossessing South Korea near its own goal, Timo Werner is wide open on the back post. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "Germany Crashes Out of World Cup With a Loss to South Korea," 28 June 2018 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

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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Statistics for dispossess

Last Updated

4 Jul 2019

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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

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


transitive verb
dis·​pos·​sess | \ ˌdis-pə-ˈzes How to pronounce dispossess (audio) \

Legal Definition of dispossess

: to put out of possession or occupancy — compare evict

Other Words from dispossess

dispossession \ -​ˈze-​shən How to pronounce dispossession (audio) \ noun
dispossessor \ -​ˈze-​sər How to pronounce dispossessor (audio) \ 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).


food or victuals

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