pre·​pos·​sess·​ing | \ ˌprē-pə-ˈze-siŋ How to pronounce prepossessing (audio) , -ˈse- \

Definition of prepossessing

1 archaic : creating prejudice
2 : tending to create a favorable impression : attractive

Did you know?

If you've heard of the word unprepossessing, it probably comes as no surprise to you that there's also a prepossessing. You may not know, however, that both derive from the verb prepossess, which is also still used in English, although it's quite rare. When prepossess first appeared in print in English in the early 17th century it meant "to take previous possession of," but that sense is now obsolete. The adjective prepossessing came into use later in that century and is based on a later sense, "to influence favorably beforehand." Someone or something that is prepossessing, therefore, makes a good first impression.

Examples of prepossessing in a Sentence

She lives in one of the least prepossessing parts of the city.

First Known Use of prepossessing

1642, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of prepossessing was in 1642

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Cite this Entry

“Prepossessing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jun. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on prepossessing

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for prepossessing

Nglish: Translation of prepossessing for Spanish Speakers


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