What does possession mean?

Definitions for possession
pəˈzɛʃ ənpos·ses·sion

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word possession.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. possession, ownershipnoun

    the act of having and controlling property

  2. possessionnoun

    anything owned or possessed

  3. possessionnoun

    being controlled by passion or the supernatural

  4. monomania, possessionnoun

    a mania restricted to one thing or idea

  5. possessionnoun

    a territory that is controlled by a ruling state

  6. self-control, self-possession, possession, willpower, will power, self-command, self-willnoun

    the trait of resolutely controlling your own behavior

  7. possessionnoun

    (sport) the act of controlling the ball (or puck)

    "they took possession of the ball on their own goal line"


  1. possessionnoun

    Something that someone possesses, but to which he does not necessarily have private property rights.

  2. possessionnoun

    Control or occupancy of something for which one does not necessarily have private property rights.

  3. possessionnoun

    Something that is owned.

    The car quickly became his most prized possession.

  4. possessionnoun

    Ownership; taking, holding, keeping something as one's own.

    The car is in my possession.

  5. possessionnoun

    A territory under the rule of another country.

    Réunion is the largest of France's overseas possessions.

  6. possessionnoun

    The condition or affliction of being possessed by a demon or other supernatural entity.

    Back then, people with psychiatric disorders were sometimes thought to be victims of demonic possession.

  7. possessionnoun

    The condition of being under the control of strong emotion or madness.

  8. possessionnoun

    Control of the ball; the opportunity to be on the offensive.

    The scoreboard shows a little football symbol next to the name of the team that has possession.

  9. possessionnoun

    A disposal of the ball during a game, i.e. a kick or a handball.

    Defender Colin O'Riordan had 41 possessions in the NEAFL last week to continue his outstanding form, while Ryan Clarke had 47 in the Swans' big loss to Brisbane.

  10. possessionnoun

    A syntactic relationship between two nouns or nominals that may be used to indicate ownership.

    Some languages distinguish between a construction like 'my car', which shows alienable possession — the car could become someone else's — and one like 'my foot', which has inalienable possession — my foot will always be mine.

  11. Etymology: From possessio (Gen: possessionis)

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Possessionnoun

    Etymology: possession, Fr. possessio, Lat.

    He shall inherit her, and his generation shall hold her in possession. Ecclus. iv. 16.

    In possession such, not only of right,
    I call you. John Milton.

    Do nothing to lose the best possession of life, that of honour and truth. William Temple.

    A man has no right over another’s life, by his having a property in land and possessions. John Locke.

  2. To Possessionverb

    To invest with property. Obsolete.

    Sundry more gentlemen this little hundred possesseth and possessioneth. Carew.


  1. Possession

    Possession b/w "Evil Temptation" is a rare single recorded by Iron Butterfly between 1967 and 1968, but not released until 1970 for unknown reasons. The first side is "Possession", which is the same version from their earlier single, "Don't Look Down on Me". On the flip side is "Evil Temptation", an instrumental. Like many of Iron Butterfly's songs from the Heavy era, "Evil Temptation" is simple and based entirely on a single riff. The lineup is mostly unknown, though Erik Brann has been confirmed as the guitarist. Doug Ingle denies having played on the recording, and has pointed out that the drumming sounds distinctly unlike Ron Bushy. It is possible that, Brann's guitar work aside, the recording is actually the work of studio musicians. However, the song itself is an Iron Butterfly composition, and a version with lyrics by Darryl DeLoach was performed during the band's early tours. A recording of this non-instrumental version can be heard on the album Live at the Galaxy 1967.


  1. possession

    Possession refers to the state of having, owning, or controlling something. It can be an object, quality, trait, or legal right. It can also denote the state in which a person is controlled by a spirit, emotion, or disease. The term is often used in various contexts including law, psychology, and sports.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Possessionnoun

    the act or state of possessing, or holding as one's own

  2. Possessionnoun

    the having, holding, or detention of property in one's power or command; actual seizin or occupancy; ownership, whether rightful or wrongful

  3. Possessionnoun

    the thing possessed; that which any one occupies, owns, or controls; in the plural, property in the aggregate; wealth; dominion; as, foreign possessions

  4. Possessionnoun

    the state of being possessed or controlled, as by an evil spirit, or violent passions; madness; frenzy; as, demoniacal possession

  5. Possessionverb

    to invest with property

  6. Etymology: [F. possession, L. possessio.]


  1. Possession

    In law, possession is the control a person intentionally exercises toward a thing. In all cases, to possess something, a person must have an intention to possess it. A person may be in possession of some property. Like ownership, the possession of things is commonly regulated by states under property law.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. possession

    To take possession, is the act of occupying any post, camp, fortress, etc., which might facilitate the operations of an army, or which previously belonged to the enemy.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'possession' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3364

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'possession' in Nouns Frequency: #1180

How to pronounce possession?

How to say possession in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of possession in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of possession in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of possession in a Sentence

  1. Paul Rosenzweig:

    You are directing Stone to take possession of what he knows to be stolen materials.

  2. Elisabeth Smith:

    In a state like Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, if someone orders pills online, they are doing so outside of the laws of that state, because they have prohibited telemedicine and more states are passing laws prohibiting the possession of medication abortion, there is the risk of criminalization when people do not follow the laws of their state.

  3. The FAA:

    The cockpit voice recorder( CVR) and flight data recorder( FDR) information have been downloaded from the units and are in possession of the Ethiopian authorities.

  4. Bryant McGill:

    Knowledge is that possession that no misfortune can destroy, no authority can revoke, and no enemy can control. This makes knowledge the greatest of all freedoms.

  5. Ralph Waldo Emerson:

    Insist on yourself never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life's cultivation but of the adopted talent of another you have only an extemporaneous half possession... Do that which is assigned to you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for possession

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"possession." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 29 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/possession>.

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