Pos·sess v. t. [imp. & p. p. Possessed p. pr. & vb. n. Possessing.]
1. To occupy in person; to hold or actually have in one's own keeping; to have and to hold.
Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land. --Jer. xxxii. 15.
Yet beauty, though injurious, hath strange power,
After offense returning, to regain
Love once possessed. --Milton.
2. To have the legal title to; to have a just right to; to be master of; to own; to have; as, to possess property, an estate, a book.
I am yours, and all that I possess. --Shak.
3. To obtain occupation or possession of; to accomplish; to gain; to seize.
How . . . to possess the purpose they desired. --Spenser.
4. To enter into and influence; to control the will of; to fill; to affect; -- said especially of evil spirits, passions, etc. “Weakness possesseth me.”
Those which were possessed with devils. --Matt. iv. 24.
For ten inspired, ten thousand are possessed. --Roscommon.
5. To put in possession; to make the owner or holder of property, power, knowledge, etc.; to acquaint; to inform; -- followed by of or with before the thing possessed, and now commonly used reflexively.
I have possessed your grace of what I purpose. --Shak.
Record a gift . . . of all he dies possessed
Unto his son. --Shak.
We possessed our selves of the kingdom of Naples. --Addison.
To possess our minds with an habitual good intention. --Addison.
Syn: -- To have; hold; occupy; control; own.
Usage: -- Possess, Have. Have is the more general word. To possess denotes to have as a property. It usually implies more permanence or definiteness of control or ownership than is involved in having. A man does not possess his wife and children: they are (so to speak) part of himself. For the same reason, we have the faculties of reason, understanding, will, sound judgment, etc.: they are exercises of the mind, not possessions.