a. The act or fact of possessing.
b. The state of being possessed: the land's possession by the town.
a. Something owned or possessed: removed his possessions from the desk.
b. A territory subject to foreign control.
a. Power or control over something: possession of a firearm.
b. Occupation or control of a piece of property, with or without ownership.
c. A right of occupation and use: The tenant has possession of the apartment until the end of the lease.
d. The crime of possessing an illegal drug.
a. The state of being dominated or controlled by a demon or spirit.
b. The state of being occupied or obsessed with something, such as an idea.
a. Physical control of the ball or puck by a player or team.
b. An instance of this: Ideally, we would score on each possession.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 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.