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pos·ses·sion (pə-zĕshən)
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n.
1.
a. The act or fact of possessing.
b. The state of being possessed: the land's possession by the town.
2.
a. Something owned or possessed: removed his possessions from the desk.
b. A territory subject to foreign control.
3. Law
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.
4.
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.
5. Sports
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.

pos·session·al adj.

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:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    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.

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