Definition of possessive in US English:

possessive

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’
    • ‘His great love remained his mother Louie, a dominating, possessive woman who spoiled and adored her son above everything else.’
    • ‘And that's typically what happens where a mother may be very, very possessive of that child.’
    • ‘Instead of being demanding and possessive like before, he was a whole new different man.’
    • ‘I think that men's love is very possessive and involves ownership, competition, and performance.’
    • ‘You are a very possessive and demanding person, rarely impulsive or casual.’
    • ‘He was overly possessive, and he freaked if I mentioned another guy's name.’
    • ‘Now, in some relationships certain parties are very possessive of their partner.’
    • ‘The mania type of love can be characterized as obsessive in that it is possessive and dependent.’
    • ‘He said yesterday: ‘I have no doubt David loved Ann very much, but it was a possessive and jealous love.’’
    • ‘The men looked away hurriedly when they looked upon the Princess's beauty, and possessive wives quickly drew their husband's attention.’
    • ‘She's always been so possessive and she just… I don't know.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Does that mean she's already taken by an overly possessive Johnny?’
    • ‘He had never professed love, just a lustful possessive desire that fueled the cruelty in his obsession.’
    • ‘That kiss was like nothing I had felt before and not in a nice way, it was possessive, aggressive and demanding… it scared me.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Slowly he was becoming more and more possessive, controlling, demanding.’
    • ‘Others unintentionally sabotage their relationships by exhibiting overly possessive, clinging, dependent behaviour.’
    • ‘People get possessive, and people are not as romantic as they used to be.’
    • ‘Other poems present maternal love as liberating, not possessive.’
    proprietorial, overprotective, clinging, controlling, dominating, jealous
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    1. 1.1 Showing a desire to own things and an unwillingness to share what one already owns.
      ‘young children are proud and possessive of their own property’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Retrograde Scorpio Venus tends to showcase the acquisitive, possessive, less lovely traits of the Tauran shadow.’
      • ‘She is very possessive of polar paraphernalia.’
      • ‘If we were not greedy, possessive creatures why would we need a means to measure our worth?’
      • ‘There were a lot of books that were in the children's names that were burnt, and children are very possessive of their things.’
      • ‘Naturally, he is very possessive about his collection.’
      • ‘A woman can be very possessive about personal accessories.’
      • ‘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.

    • ‘They can be used as components of compounds, but if they are used on their own they must be used with possessive prefixes.’
    • ‘Relations that are implicit in the semantic structure of a possessed noun can affect the range of plausible interpretations of a possessive construction.’
    • ‘It's a relational noun, which means that a possessive shows who the noun relates to.’
    • ‘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.’

noun

Grammar
  • 1A possessive word or form.

    • ‘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).’
    • ‘All three examples are from the very first sentences of their essays; possessives are being used to introduce discourse referents.’
    • ‘Prenominal possessives (John's car, my hat) normally function as definite expressions.’
    • ‘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 possessive The possessive case.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Actually, today, the possessive and genitive are virtually the same.’
      • ‘We all know that in English you form the possessive by adding an apostrophe.’

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

Pronunciation

possessive

/pəˈzesiv//pəˈzɛsɪv/