re·​pos·​sess | \ ˌrē-pə-ˈzes also -ˈses How to pronounce repossess (audio) \
repossessed; repossessing; repossesses

Definition of repossess

transitive verb

1a : to regain possession of
b : to take possession of (something bought) from a buyer in default of the payment of installments due
2 : to restore to possession

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Other Words from repossess

repossession \ ˌrē-​pə-​ˈze-​shən How to pronounce repossession (audio) also  -​ˈse-​ \ noun
repossessor \ ˌrē-​pə-​ˈze-​sər How to pronounce repossessor (audio) also  -​ˈse-​ \ noun

Examples of repossess in a Sentence

The bank repossessed her truck. if you don't pay off the loan, the bank will come and repossess your car
Recent Examples on the Web Punker Otto tries to repossess a Chevy Malibu with something alien and atomic in the trunk. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 15, 2019: ‘Alien,’ ‘Aliens’ and more," 13 Sep. 2019 Mortgage lenders can repossess in as few as 120 days after missed payments without involving the courts. Peter Rudegeair, WSJ, "The Future of Housing Rises in Phoenix," 19 June 2019 Simon ruled that Dollar at most had a right to repossess the car, but its contractual right didn’t allow for a search over the express objection and denial of consent by a driver with a legitimate and reasonable privacy interest in the car. oregonlive, "Judge rules police search of rental car unconstitutional and throws out gun, drug evidence," 30 Aug. 2019 For Beijing, this island of 23 million is simply another lost province that one day will be repossessed. Matthew Continetti, National Review, "Help Hong Kong by Defending Taiwan," 24 Aug. 2019 In Jacksonville, Florida, 42-year-old James Pough, angry about his car being repossessed, opens fire at a General Motors Acceptance Corp. office, killing nine people. Wire Service, The Mercury News, "Deadliest mass shootings in modern US history," 4 Aug. 2019 School district officials also proposed other options, such as filing a court complaint or repossessing properties. Joshua Bote, USA TODAY, "School district sorry for threatening foster care for child lunch debts, takes CEO donation," 24 July 2019 Kelsey Eberly, a staff lawyer at the Animal Legal Defense Fund, which opposes pet leasing, said her group is unaware of any cases in which a pet was repossessed. Christian Hetrick,, "Pet leasing is real and can catch owners by surprise. New Jersey lawmakers want to ban it," 19 July 2019 And Wells Fargo has admitted to illegally repossessing the vehicles of hundreds of service members. Matt Egan, CNN, "Wells Fargo discriminated against Dreamer by denying auto loan, lawsuit claims," 19 July 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for repossess

Last Updated

25 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for repossess

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

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More Definitions for repossess


How to pronounce repossess (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of repossess

: to take (something) back from a buyer because payments are not being made


transitive verb
re·​pos·​sess | \ ˌrē-pə-ˈzes How to pronounce repossess (audio) \

Legal Definition of repossess

: to regain possession of especially : to take possession of again by judicial process or self-help upon default of the payment of installments due — compare foreclose, seize sense 2

Other Words from repossess

repossessor \ -​ˈze-​sər How to pronounce repossessor (audio) \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on repossess

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for repossess

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with repossess

Spanish Central: Translation of repossess

Nglish: Translation of repossess for Spanish Speakers

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