possession

noun
pos·​ses·​sion | \ pə-ˈze-shən How to pronounce possession (audio) also -ˈse- \

Definition of possession

1a : the act of having or taking into control
b : control or occupancy of property without regard to ownership
c : ownership
d : control of the ball or puck also : an instance of having such control (as in football) scored on their first two possessions
2 : something owned, occupied, or controlled : property
3a : domination by something (such as an evil spirit, a passion, or an idea)
b : a psychological state in which an individual's normal personality is replaced by another

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Other Words from possession

possessional \ pə-​ˈzesh-​nəl How to pronounce possession (audio) , -​ˈze-​shə-​nᵊl also  -​ˈsesh-​nəl or  -​ˈse-​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective
possessionless \ pə-​ˈze-​shən-​ləs How to pronounce possession (audio) , -​ˈse-​ \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for possession

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Examples of possession in a Sentence

The city can take possession of the abandoned buildings. She came into possession of a rare silver coin. The family lost all of its possessions in the fire. This ring was my mother's most precious possession. The defendant was charged with heroin possession.
Recent Examples on the Web All of the suspects face charges of forgery and possession of criminal tools. Quinlan Bentley, The Enquirer, 17 May 2022 The Rising have averaged over 50% possession in each of the past three seasons, ranking inside the top 10 in the USL twice. Theo Mackie, The Arizona Republic, 16 May 2022 Matt Turner made a spectacular save on a Thiago Almada free kick (10th minute), the sequence set up as referee Allen Chapman allowed play to continue after Carles Gil claimed to be fouled from behind while losing possession. Frank Dell'apa, BostonGlobe.com, 15 May 2022 Police arrested Alex Galvan, 22, on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and possession of an unregistered firearm in connection with the shooting, Sharki said. Lauryn Schroeder, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 May 2022 Williams made a three on Boston's first possession, then the Celtics missed their next seven shots as the Bucks scored 10 straight points. Ben Steele, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 15 May 2022 And unfortunately, some of our draw circle kids were fouling, which gave them possession. Edward Lee, Baltimore Sun, 15 May 2022 Drug policy experts say the number of people serving prison time for simple possession alone is likely very small. Karina Elwood, Washington Post, 14 May 2022 Their attempts to clear the puck were futile and lacking purpose, which would often result in the Penguins regaining possession quickly. Vincent Z. Mercogliano, USA TODAY, 14 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'possession.' 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 possession

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for possession

Time Traveler

The first known use of possession was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near possession

possessingly

possession

possessionalism

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Statistics for possession

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Possession.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/possession. Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for possession

possession

noun
pos·​ses·​sion | \ pə-ˈze-shən How to pronounce possession (audio) \

Kids Definition of possession

1 : the condition of having or owning something The will is in my possession.
2 : something that is held by someone as property a valuable possession

possession

noun
pos·​ses·​sion | \ pə-ˈze-shən How to pronounce possession (audio) \

Legal Definition of possession

1 : the act, fact, or condition of having control of something: as
a : actual possession in this entry
b : constructive possession in this entry
c : knowing dominion and control over a controlled substance or other contraband
d in the civil law of Louisiana : the detention or enjoyment of a corporeal thing
e : control or occupancy of property
actual possession
1 : direct occupancy, use, or control of real property had actual possession of the land despite a lack of legal title
2 : direct physical custody, care, or control of property or contraband (as illegal drugs) actual possession is not necessary to sustain a convictionState v. Garrison, 896 S.W.2d 689 (1995)
adverse possession
: actual possession of another's real property that is open, hostile, exclusive, continuous, adverse to the claim of the owner, often under a claim of right or color of title, and that may give rise to title in the possessor if carried out for a specified statutory period (as ten years) also : the method of acquiring title by such possession — see also hostile possession and notorious possession in this entry — compare prescription
civil possession
in the civil law of Louisiana : possession that exists by virtue of an intent to be the owner of a property even though one no longer occupies or has physical control of it
constructive possession
1 : possession that exists by virtue of a right (as by title) rather than direct occupancy or control
2 : the knowing ability and sometimes intent to exercise dominion and control over something (as illegal drugs) either directly or through others
hostile possession
: possession (as in adverse possession) that is antagonistic to the claims of all others (as a record owner) and that is carried out with the intention to possess the property exclusively
notorious possession
: possession (as in adverse possession) that is so conspicuous that it is generally known by people in the vicinity of the property and so gives rise to a presumption that the owner has notice of it
precarious possession
in the civil law of Louisiana : possession of property that is exercised by another (as a lessee) with the permission of or on behalf of the owner — see also acquisitive prescription at prescription
2 : something controlled, occupied, or owned personal possessions

More from Merriam-Webster on possession

Nglish: Translation of possession for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of possession for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about possession

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