Definition of possessive in English:


Syllabification: pos·ses·sive
Pronunciation: /pəˈzesiv


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
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.
proprietorial, overprotective, controlling, dominating, jealous, clingy
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
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.
covetous, selfish, unwilling to share; grasping, greedy, acquisitive, grabby
2 Grammar Relating to or denoting the case of nouns and pronouns expressing possession.
[from Latin possessivus, translation of Greek ktētikē (ptōsis) 'possessive (case)']
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.


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.


1 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. 2 Form the possessive of plurals by adding an apostrophe to the plural form: the Rosses’ house, the Perezes’ car. See also apostrophe1 (usage) , its, and plural.



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.


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.

Definition of possessive in:

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Word of the day dinkum
Pronunciation: ˈdiNGkəm
(of an article or person) genuine