Definition for POS-SESS'

POS-SESS', v.t. [L. possessus, possideo, a compound of po, a Russian preposition, perhaps by, and sedeo, to sit; to sit in or on. We have this word from the Latin, but the same compound is in our mother tongue, Sax. besittan, to possess; be, by, and sittan, to sit; gesittan, besettan, gesettan, are also used; D. bezitten; G. besitzen; Dan. besidder; Sw. besitta; Fr. posseder; Arm. poçzedi; Sp. poseer; It. possedere.]

  1. To have the just and legal title, ownership or property of a thing; to own; to hold the title of, as the rightful proprietor, or to hold both the title and the thing. A man may possess the farm which he cultivates, or he may possess an estate in a foreign country, not in his own occupation. He may possess many farms which are occupied by tenants. In this as in other cases, the original sense of the word is enlarged, the holding or tenure being applied to the title or right, as well as to the thing itself.
  2. To hold; to occupy without title or ownership. I raise up the Chaldeans to possess the dwelling places that are not theirs. – Hab. i. Neither said any of them that aught of the things which he possessed was his own. – Acts iv.
  3. To have; to occupy. The love of the world usually possesses the heart.
  4. To seize; to gain; to obtain the occupation of. The English marched toward the river Eske, intending to possess a hill called Uder-Eske. – Hayward.
  5. To have power over; as an invisible agent or spirit. – Luke viii. Beware what spirit rages in your breast; / For ten inspired, ten thousand are possess'd. – Roscommon.
  6. To affect by some power. Let not your ears despise my tongue, / Which shall possess them with the heaviest sound / That ever yet they heard. – Swift. To possess of, or with, more properly to possess of, is to give possession, command or occupancy. Of fortune's favor long possess'd. – Dryden. This possesses us of the most valuable blessing of human life, friendship. – Gov. of the Tongue. To possess one's self of, to take or gain possession or command; to make one's self master of. We possessed ourselves of the kingdom of Naples. – Addison. To possess with, to furnish or fill with something permanent; or to be retained. It is of unspeakable advantage to possess our minds with an habitual good intention. – Addison. If they are possessed with honest minds. – Addison.

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