possessive

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

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

jealous

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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

Your possessive side emerges when dealing with others. BostonGlobe.com, "Horoscope," 18 June 2019 Coming from a hunting term referencing pointer dog breeds’ aptitude for tracking down fallen fowl, the expression has undeniably possessive undertones. Amanda Montell, Glamour, "From Ghosting to Going Steady, Here's a Guide to the History of Dating Slang," 31 May 2019 The response comes just after Hailey addressed the possessive nature of fans in an interview with Cosmopolitan. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Justin Bieber Shut Down People Accusing Him of Marrying Hailey Bieber to Get Back at Ex-Girlfriend Selena Gomez," 26 Mar. 2019 Introduced to Nick’s fiercely possessive mother, Eleanor ( Michelle Yeoh ), and to his extended family, Rachel discovers a sprawling precinct of super-privilege where the notion of excess has been annulled. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Review: Conspicuously Consuming Fun," 16 Aug. 2018 Your more possessive side could emerge with a power play. BostonGlobe.com, "For Attorney General Maura Healey, sports were crucial to success," 11 July 2018 In season 3 of Degrassi, a romantic relationship between Terri (Christina Schmidt) and Rick Murray (Ephraim Ellis) blossomed but quickly went sour when Terri realized Rick’s possessive and abusive (physically and verbally) ways. Nerisha Penrose, Billboard, "All the 'Degrassi' References in Drake's 'I'm Upset' Video," 14 June 2018 This is to say that fandom and spectatorship, of late, have grown darkly possessive as the country has become violently divided. Wesley Morris, New York Times, "Who Gets to Decide What Belongs in the ‘Canon’?," 30 May 2018 Ehrlich also wryly and briefly addressed death, molly and possessive relationships at different points. Adam Lukach, RedEye Chicago, "Track all the Chicago artists at Lollapalooza," 7 Aug. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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, idahostatesman, "Brother and his new wife perceive every invitation as a threat to couple time | Idaho Statesman," 9 Jan. 2018 As the biggest of the bureau’s outposts, handling many of its headline cases, New York is particularly possessive of its investigations. Chris Smith, The Hive, "“Hillary Is Corrupt and Trump Is Crazy”: At the F.B.I., Anger at Being Scapegoated," 14 Dec. 2017 This type of possessive, fantasy relationship was behind another celebrity murder, the 1989 shooting of sitcom star Rebecca Schaeffer by an obsessed fan. Erin Moriarty, CBS News, "Stalked," 9 Sep. 2017 This type of possessive, fantasy relationship was behind another celebrity murder, the 1989 shooting of sitcom star Rebecca Schaeffer by an obsessed fan. Erin Moriarty, CBS News, "Stalked," 9 Sep. 2017

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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Statistics for possessive

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for possessive

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

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More Definitions for possessive

possessive

adjective

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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