possessive

adjective
pos·​ses·​sive | \ pə-ˈze-siv How to pronounce possessive (audio) also -ˈse- \

Definition of possessive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or constituting a word, a word group, or a grammatical case that denotes ownership or a relation analogous to ownership
2 : manifesting possession or the desire to own or dominate

possessive

noun

Definition of possessive (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a possessive word or word group
2a : the possessive case
b : a word in the possessive case

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Other Words from possessive

Adjective

possessively adverb
possessiveness noun

Synonyms for possessive

Synonyms: Adjective

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Examples of possessive in a Sentence

Adjective If you marry him, he is only going to become even more jealous and possessive than he is now. The possessive form of “dog” is “dog's.” “His” and “her” are possessive pronouns. Noun “Your” and “yours” are possessives. The possessive of “it” is “its.”
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Chip's parents said Kim had become too possessive and overbearing. Erin Moriarty, CBS News, "Crosley Green, imprisoned for 31 years, says he's the victim of a racial hoax," 18 Apr. 2020 Haley's roommate, Josie Artin, also testified: JOSIE ARTIN: Orlando has always been possessive over Haley. CBS News, "Murder of N.Y. nursing student leads to an international manhunt for her killer," 25 Apr. 2020 Domestic homicide is the top of the ladder of controlling, possessive behaviour. Janey Starling, refinery29.com, "Why You Need To Stop Looking For Love," 10 Apr. 2020 Veteran mushroom hunters covet their secret spots with a possessive fervor equal to that of any bass fishermen or deer hunter. Gary Garth And Matt Every, Outdoor Life, "12 Tips for Finding More Morel Mushrooms This Spring," 3 Apr. 2019 Alexander's friend Clancy Talbot said Arias was very possessive. Gail Deutsch, ABC News, "Friends say they warned Travis Alexander that Jodi Arias was dangerous for months before she killed him," 13 Feb. 2020 Linda Stermer: Todd was an extremely jealous and possessive person. Erin Moriarty, CBS News, "Woman accused of setting house fire, then running over her husband as he escaped, tells her side," 1 Feb. 2020 Its Santa Lucia Highlands wine, followed by single-vineyard bottlings from Garys Vineyard [NB: Garys is a plural — two Garys — not a possessive.] and Rosella’s Vineyard, will give you a good view of Central California terroir. Dave Mcintyre, Washington Post, "Save money and try something new when you explore lesser-known wine regions and labels," 17 Jan. 2020 Young Kate’s boyfriend, Marc (Austin Abrams), now casts a dark possessive cloud over Kate (Hannah Zeile) offscreen, too. Dan Snierson, EW.com, "This Is Us producers break down Randall's 'breaking point,' Kevin's cliffhanger," 22 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Devon and Birmingham unilaterally disposed of the possessive in in all street and road signs in 2009, though the Devon council backtracked shortly after. Roslyn Petelin, Quartz, "A case for the preservation of the appropriate apostrophe," 10 Dec. 2019 Wisconsin linebacker Chris Orr stood on the field at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday — the spot where Minnesota beat the Badgers 37-15 last November — and attached a possessive to a coveted item. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Badgers linebacker: ‘We’re going to get our Axe back’ from Gophers," 24 Nov. 2019 But with great power comes great responsibility: 8 breeds workaholics, and on a bad day, can become excessively controlling and possessive. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "The Basics of Numerology: How to Calculate Your Life Path and Destiny Numbers," 16 July 2018 Luckily, Salander is a more compelling, surprising, and complex character than Blomkvist, in his possessive and protective desire, can see. Alice Bolin, Longreads, "The Daughter as Detective," 26 June 2018 Tully is endlessly open and nurturing without seeming possessive, helpful without seeming controlling. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Tully Is a Daring, and Baffling, Look at Motherhood," 4 May 2018 That’s next-level possessive and a product of unchecked toxic masculinity. Jill Gutowitz, Glamour, "After Watching 'Fifty Shades Freed,' I Have One Question: Are Straight People OK?," 9 Feb. 2018 That only plays into the hands of someone possessive. Carolyn Hax, Detroit Free Press, "Brother and his new wife perceive every invitation as a threat to couple time," 9 Jan. 2018 That only plays into the hands of someone possessive. Carolyn Hax, idahostatesman, "Brother and his new wife perceive every invitation as a threat to couple time | Idaho Statesman," 9 Jan. 2018

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

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for possessive

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for possessive

Last Updated

16 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Possessive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/possessive. Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for possessive

possessive

adjective
How to pronounce possessive (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of possessive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not willing to share things with or lend things to other people
: wanting all of someone's attention and love
grammar : relating to a word or a form of a word that shows that something or someone belongs to something or someone else

possessive

noun

English Language Learners Definition of possessive (Entry 2 of 2)

grammar
: a possessive word or phrase
: the form of a word that shows possession or belonging

possessive

adjective
pos·​ses·​sive | \ pə-ˈze-siv How to pronounce possessive (audio) \

Kids Definition of possessive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : being or belonging to the case of a noun or pronoun that shows possession “His” is a possessive pronoun.
2 : showing the desire to possess or control : unwilling to share

possessive

noun

Kids Definition of possessive (Entry 2 of 2)

: a word or form of a word that shows possession

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Comments on possessive

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