American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Of or relating to ownership or possession.
- adj. Having or manifesting a desire to control or dominate another, especially in order to limit that person's relationships with others: a possessive parent.
- adj. Grammar Of, relating to, or being a noun or pronoun case that indicates possession.
- n. Grammar The possessive case.
- n. Grammar A possessive form or construction.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Pertaining to or denoting possession; expressing possession: as in a lady's dress, their house, a mere notion of John's.
- n. A pronoun or other word denoting possession.
- n. The possessive case.
- adj. Of or pertaining to ownership or possession.
- adj. grammar Indicating ownership, possession, origin, etc.
- adj. Unwilling to yield possession of.
- n. grammar The possessive case.
- n. grammar A word used to indicate the possessive case.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Of or pertaining to possession; having or indicating possession.
- n. (Gram.) The possessive case.
- n. (Gram.) A possessive pronoun, or a word in the possessive case.
- n. the case expressing ownership
- adj. having or showing a desire to control or dominate
- adj. serving to express or indicate possession
- adj. desirous of owning
- Latin possessivus, of or pertaining to possession, from possessio, possessing, possidere, to possess. (Wiktionary)
“To make the word possessive, you add an apostrophe and an "s" (rope's).”
“Even if the “ugly spirits,” as he called the possessive forces, could not be exorcised, they could be kept under control, he discovered, through the process of writing about them.”
“In his book, Halpern deals with one such case of Barzun's being criticized by Pinker, in which Pinker says that Barzun "earned an 'F'" because he called the possessive use of a noun an adjective.”
“If you used the shortened form, you'd just say "in-laws' house", but since you're using the full form, it's correct to pluralise the noun and not the modifier ('parents' rather than 'in law'), and then make the entire term possessive, because it's acting as a noun cluster. ("parents-in-law's")”
“This is a good point at which to explain possessive plurals, as we have already added an “s”, we can now simply add an apostrophe; “the scrotes’ lawyer” (the lawyer for several scrotes).”
“For Kilpatrick, the friend of … part of the phrase establishes possession, and thus the ‘s possessive is redundant.”
“Oh, wait…what’s that marginalization term possessive individualists use…statist?”
“As the possessive is the only case of nouns that has a distinctive inflection, it is only with this case that mistakes can occur in construction.”
“[Footnote: Sometimes these words are called possessive pronouns, although really they are not pronouns at all, but pronominal adjectives with a possessive meaning.] 44.”
“_ «Suus» is a _reflexive_ possessive, that is, it usually stands in the predicate and regularly refers back to the _subject_.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘possessive’.
Most of these describe word patterns or relationships between words.
2007 Scripps National Spelling Bee Round 2
Various grammatical cases.
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