self-possession

play
noun self-pos·ses·sion \ ˌself-pə-ˈze-shən also -ˈse- \
Updated on: 11 Sep 2017

Definition of self-possession

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

First Known Use of self-possession

1745

Synonym Discussion of self-possession

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


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to curse or denounce

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
True or False

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!