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Definition of "possessive" [pos•sess•ive]

  • Of or relating to ownership or possession. (adjective)
  • Having or manifesting a desire to control or dominate another, especially in order to limit that person's relationships with others: a possessive parent. (adjective)
  • Grammar Of, relating to, or being a noun or pronoun case that indicates possession. (adjective)
  • Grammar The possessive case. (noun)
  • Grammar A possessive form or construction. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "possessive" in a sentence
  • "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."