Meaning of “possess” in the English Dictionary

"possess" in British English

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possessverb [ T ]

uk /pəˈzes/ us /pəˈzes/

possess verb [ T ] (OWN)

C1 to have or own something, or to have a particular quality:

I don't possess a single DVD (= I don't have even one DVD).
In the past the root of this plant was thought to possess magical powers.

More examples

  • We're trying to bring out the artistic talents that many people possess without realizing it.
  • She had already sold everything of value that she possessed.
  • Ruth possessed great writing skills.
  • He was charged with possessing a fake passport.
  • "I'm arresting you on suspicion of illegally possessing drugs, " said the police officer.

(Definition of “possess” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"possess" in American English

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possessverb [ T ]

us /pəˈzes/

possess verb [ T ] (OWN)

to have or own something, or to have a particular quality:

Those states are the countries that possess nuclear weapons.
She possesses the unusual talent of knowing when to say nothing.

possess verb [ T ] (CONTROL)

(of a desire or an idea) to take control over a person’s mind, making that person behave in a strange way:

I don’t know what possessed me to start yelling like that.
possessor
noun [ C usually sing ] us /pəˈzes·ər/

I am now the proud possessor of a driver’s license!

(Definition of “possess” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"possess" in Business English

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possessverb [ T ]

uk /pəˈzes/ us

to have or own something:

More than five million German households possess exercise equipment.
These bonds possess many favorable investment attributes.

to have a particular quality:

possess knowledge/qualities/skills Sales managers must possess strong leadership qualities.

(Definition of “possess” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)