self-pos·​ses·​sion | \ ˌself-pə-ˈze-shən also -ˈse- How to pronounce self-possession (audio) \

Definition of self-possession

: control of one's emotions or reactions especially when under stress : presence of mind, composure

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confidence, assurance, self-possession, aplomb mean a state of mind or a manner marked by easy coolness and freedom from uncertainty, diffidence, or embarrassment. confidence stresses faith in oneself and one's powers without any suggestion of conceit or arrogance. the confidence that comes from long experience assurance carries a stronger implication of certainty and may suggest arrogance or lack of objectivity in assessing one's own powers. handled the cross-examination with complete assurance self-possession implies an ease or coolness under stress that reflects perfect self-control and command of one's powers. answered the insolent question with complete self-possession aplomb implies a manifest self-possession in trying or challenging situations. handled the reporters with great aplomb

First Known Use of self-possession

1665, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for self-possession

Time Traveler

The first known use of self-possession was in 1665

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Cite this Entry

“Self-possession.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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