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

Homeowners defaulted on mortgages, real estate promoters went bankrupt, and houses were repossessed. Raphael Minder, New York Times, "The 2008 Crash Made This Madrid Suburb a Ghost Town. Now It’s Coming Alive.," 12 July 2019 And then, as if in a dream, Jimmie and Montgomery repossess the place for their own, and move right in. Michael Phillips,, "'Last Black Man in San Francisco' review: This old house tells a story," 11 June 2019 Their small farm was repossessed after an investment in a friend backfired. Tristan Gooley, WSJ, "Summer Books 2019: Walking," 24 May 2019 When people fail to repay their debts, collectors act quickly to repossess cars, sometimes in the middle of the night, according to people on both sides of the transactions. WSJ, "A New Kind of Lender Secretly Tracks Your Car to Make Sure You Pay Up," 27 Nov. 2018 Some 20,000 cars were wrongfully repossessed, the bank has said. Emily Glazer, WSJ, "Wells Fargo to Pay States About $575 Million to Settle Customer Harm Claims," 28 Dec. 2018 In other parts of the industry, a game of cat-and-mouse is being played, with borrowers trying to fight back against lenders who want to repossess their cars. WSJ, "A New Kind of Lender Secretly Tracks Your Car to Make Sure You Pay Up," 27 Nov. 2018 Oh, your couch getting repossessed and PornHub is down? Constance Grady, Vox, "Watch: The Daily Show explains why the Democrats’ House win could be good for Trump," 7 Nov. 2018 The leasing company can repossess the animal if a payment is missed, and consumers might still be obligated to pay the company if their pet runs away or dies. Nancy Coleman, WSJ, "Just Bought a New Puppy? It Might Be a Rental," 19 July 2018

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

19 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for repossess

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

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with repossess

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for repossess

Spanish Central: Translation of repossess

Nglish: Translation of repossess for Spanish Speakers

Comments on repossess

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


something desired as essential

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