Definition of possessive in English:

possessive

Pronunciation /pəˈzesiv/ /pəˈzɛsɪv/

See synonyms for possessive

Translate possessive into Spanish

adjective

  • 1Demanding someone's total attention and love.

    ‘as soon as she'd been out with a guy a few times, he'd get possessive’
    • ‘she was possessive of our eldest son’
    • ‘I think that men's love is very possessive and involves ownership, competition, and performance.’
    • ‘She had lot of people who claimed her attention but later on a particular man became more possessive of her and she stopped entertaining others.’
    • ‘That kiss was like nothing I had felt before and not in a nice way, it was possessive, aggressive and demanding… it scared me.’
    • ‘Slowly he was becoming more and more possessive, controlling, demanding.’
    • ‘You are a very possessive and demanding person, rarely impulsive or casual.’
    • ‘He said yesterday: ‘I have no doubt David loved Ann very much, but it was a possessive and jealous love.’’
    • ‘And that's typically what happens where a mother may be very, very possessive of that child.’
    • ‘Now, in some relationships certain parties are very possessive of their partner.’
    • ‘Instead of being demanding and possessive like before, he was a whole new different man.’
    • ‘Although she may claim that her possessive behaviour arises from her love, there might be a need for her to realize that love must be sustained by trust.’
    • ‘Other poems present maternal love as liberating, not possessive.’
    • ‘The men looked away hurriedly when they looked upon the Princess's beauty, and possessive wives quickly drew their husband's attention.’
    • ‘He had never professed love, just a lustful possessive desire that fueled the cruelty in his obsession.’
    • ‘His great love remained his mother Louie, a dominating, possessive woman who spoiled and adored her son above everything else.’
    • ‘The mania type of love can be characterized as obsessive in that it is possessive and dependent.’
    • ‘She's always been so possessive and she just… I don't know.’
    • ‘Others unintentionally sabotage their relationships by exhibiting overly possessive, clinging, dependent behaviour.’
    • ‘He was overly possessive, and he freaked if I mentioned another guy's name.’
    • ‘Does that mean she's already taken by an overly possessive Johnny?’
    • ‘People get possessive, and people are not as romantic as they used to be.’
    proprietorial, overprotective, clinging, controlling, dominating, jealous
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    1. 1.1Showing a desire to own things and an unwillingness to share what one already owns.
      ‘young children are proud and possessive of their own property’
      • ‘If we were not greedy, possessive creatures why would we need a means to measure our worth?’
      • ‘Retrograde Scorpio Venus tends to showcase the acquisitive, possessive, less lovely traits of the Tauran shadow.’
      • ‘A woman can be very possessive about personal accessories.’
      • ‘There were a lot of books that were in the children's names that were burnt, and children are very possessive of their things.’
      • ‘She is very possessive of polar paraphernalia.’
      • ‘Naturally, he is very possessive about his collection.’
      • ‘Oh look, I can understand him feeling very possessive about his budget, he's been working on it a long time, but I think he needs to calm down a bit.’
      • ‘An eagle is possessive and once it has caught a fox it will not let go.’
      grasping, greedy, acquisitive, covetous, selfish
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  • 2Grammar
    Relating to or denoting the case of nouns and pronouns expressing possession.

    ‘It's a relational noun, which means that a possessive shows who the noun relates to.’
    • ‘Relations that are implicit in the semantic structure of a possessed noun can affect the range of plausible interpretations of a possessive construction.’
    • ‘The possessive apostrophe disappeared in place names such as ‘Coopers Creek’ decades ago.’
    • ‘But the evidence shows that possessive apostrophes have been dropping like flies for years.’
    • ‘They can be used as components of compounds, but if they are used on their own they must be used with possessive prefixes.’

noun

  • 1Grammar
    A possessive word or form.

    ‘Prenominal possessives (John's car, my hat) normally function as definite expressions.’
    • ‘All three examples are from the very first sentences of their essays; possessives are being used to introduce discourse referents.’
    • ‘The rule is a perfectly absurd concoction, which grows out of a basic confusion about parts of speech (possessives are not adjectives, so you can't say ‘It looks John's,’ for example).’
    • ‘Special problems arise when you create possessives for names already ending in ‘s’.’
    • ‘How do you do a possessive of a registered trademark that is itself already a possessive?’
    1. 1.1the possessiveThe possessive case.
      ‘We all know that in English you form the possessive by adding an apostrophe.’
      • ‘Actually, today, the possessive and genitive are virtually the same.’
      • ‘Some linguists believe that English possessive is no longer a case at all, but has become a clitic, an independent particle that is always pronounced as part of the preceding word.’

Usage

Form the possessive of singulars by adding ’s: Ross's, Fox's, Reese's. A few classical and foreign names are traditional exceptions to this rule, for example, Jesus’ and Euripides,’ which take an apostrophe only. Form the possessive of plurals by adding an apostrophe to the plural form: the Rosses’ house, the Perezes’ car. See also
apostrophe
,
its
, and
plural