1. Owning or mastering something. Used with of: one who is possessed of great wealth.
a. Controlled by a spirit, demon, god, or other supernatural force.
b. Controlled by a strong inner drive; obsessed: possessed by love; possessed with rage.
3. Calm; collected: one who remained possessed in times of great trial.
Usage Note: When the adjective possessed means "owning a thing, exhibiting an attribute," it is followed by the preposition of: possessed of property; possessed of a sharp tongue. When possessed means "obsessed," by or with follows: possessed by (or with) an urge to kill.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.