Definition of possessive in English:

possessive

Line breaks: pos¦ses|sive
Pronunciation: /pəˈzɛsɪv
 
/

adjective

  • 1Demanding someone’s total attention and love: has he become jealous or possessive? he placed a firm, possessive hand on her elbow
    More example sentences
    • 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.
    Synonyms
  • 1.1Showing an unwillingness to share one’s possessions: young children are proud and possessive of their own property
    More example sentences
    • 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.
    Synonyms
    grasping, greedy, acquisitive, covetous, selfish
    North American informal grabby
  • 2 Grammar Relating to or denoting the case of nouns and pronouns expressing possession.
    More example sentences
    • 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.

noun

Grammar Back to top  
  • 1A possessive word or form.
    More example sentences
    • 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).
  • 1.1 (the possessive) The possessive case.
    More example sentences
    • 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.

Derivatives

possessively

adverb
More example sentences
  • Women have potentially a bigger capacity to move through people and love freely and not possessively.
  • He'd reached up from the back seat and was rubbing my neck, sort of possessively, yet lovingly.
  • I possessively kept them out of my little brother's reach who wanted them only because he saw how much I loved them.

possessiveness

noun
More example sentences
  • Complications kick in, and previously contained feelings of jealousy, betrayal, insecurity and possessiveness threaten to overwhelm what had seemed a rather civilised arrangement.
  • The second is neurotic: everyone is liable to instinctive twinges of possessiveness, so lovers shouldn't rub each other's noses in adventures outside their patch.
  • I could put up with his outbursts, the jealousy and possessiveness but not the violence.

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