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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from possessive

Adjective

possessively adverb
possessiveness noun

Synonyms for possessive

Synonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.”
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But Abraham’s character (played by a stern but kind-faced Ricardo Antonio Chavira) is the main focus, and surely the most complex personality — although his possessive demeanor didn’t come across as much as in the film. Rosa Sanchez, Rolling Stone, "Who Owns Selena’s Legacy?," 30 Apr. 2021 World Psychiatry showed that elements of speech such as coherence and the frequency of possessive pronouns (words like his, her, my or mine) can predict, with an accuracy of 83%, whether someone at risk for psychosis will actually become psychotic. Daniel Barron, WSJ, "The Rise of Big Data Psychiatry," 29 Apr. 2021 Langella!), groovy sixties hairdos, and a plot twist that revolves around the use of possessive pronouns. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, "Oscars Spotlight: The 2021 Nominees for Best Picture," 22 Apr. 2021 This fiendish feline would have followed guests throughout the ride, a creature said to despise living humans and with predatory, possessive instincts. Todd Martens Game Critic, Los Angeles Times, "Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion updates reveal that a purr-fect idea never dies," 12 Apr. 2021 As Peter Schjeldahl recently observed in The New Yorker, those who love the Frick Collection can feel strangely possessive of it. Marley Marius, Vogue, "Seeing (and Loving) a Collection Anew at the Frick Madison," 17 Mar. 2021 Taking the story of a man who figures out how to become invisible and turning it into a story of possessive, toxic masculinity resulted in an instant classic, a status helped greatly by another incredible performance from Elisabeth Moss. Brian Tallerico, Vulture, "The 100 Best Movies on HBO Max," 1 Feb. 2021 At karaoke night, Toni introduces Veronica to the crowd as Veronica Lodge, which is definitely not what her controlling, possessive husband wants to hear! Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, "Riverdale recap: Back to school for more epic highs and lows of high school football," 25 Feb. 2021 Taking the story of a man who figures out how to become invisible and turning it into a story of possessive, toxic masculinity resulted in an instant classic, a status helped greatly by another incredible performance from Elisabeth Moss. Brian Tallerico, Vulture, "The 100 Best Movies on HBO Max," 1 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That titular possessive really is doing a lot of work. K. Austin Collins, Rolling Stone, "‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’: It’s Bigger, Longer, and Better Than the Original," 15 Mar. 2021 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about possessive

Time Traveler for possessive

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for possessive

Last Updated

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Possessive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/possessive. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on possessive

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!