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like a man/woman possessed

With such fierce intensity, energy, or enthusiasm that it seems to be out of someone's control. After punishing first round, the underdog has come out in the second round like a woman possessed. Knowing that his in-laws would be arriving soon, Mike started cleaning the house like a man possessed.
See also: like, man, possessed, woman

*possessed by something

obsessed or driven by something. (*Typically: be ~; become ~.) Ned was possessed by a desire to become the best at everything he did. Jan acts as if she is possessed by the need to be right all the time.
See also: possessed

*possessed of something

having something; possessing something. (*Typically: be ~; become ~.) She is possessed of a large amount of money. Todd wishes he were possessed of a large car and a fine house.
See also: of, possessed

possessed by

Driven by, obsessed with, as in He was possessed by the idea of becoming a millionaire. This idiom employs possess in the sense of "dominate one's thoughts or ideas," a usage dating from the late 1500s.
See also: possessed

like someone possessed

very violently or wildly, as if under the control of an evil spirit.
See also: like, possessed

like a man/woman posˈsessed


like one posˈsessed

with a lot of force or energy: He flew out of the room like a man possessed.
See also: like, man, possessed, woman

what(ever) posˈsessed somebody to do something?

used to ask why somebody did something bad, stupid, unexpected, etc: ‘She drove straight to the airport and got on the first plane.’ ‘What possessed her to do that?’This phrase refers to the belief that people can be controlled (‘possessed’) by an evil spirit.
See also: possessed, somebody, what
References in periodicals archive ?
Jose Manuel Cabadas, 22, of Springfield, charged with knowingly conspiring to possess and distribute one kilogram or more of heroin.
Sometimes it is important that a rubber compound possess a certain level of green strength in order to prevent a complicated uncured extruded profile from collapsing from the force of gravity or to prevent premature "blow outs" of a green tire on the second-stage tire building machine (ref.
These mentors will possess the practical knowledge and personal experience requisite to help students effectively transition to adulthood and overcome the barriers that typically are associated with a particular disability.
He added, however, that Japan's defense-only policy does not mean Japan cannot possess such weapons.
In addition to this important external role, internally the chairman must possess the ability to conduct orderly, productive meetings and ensure that reports and recommendations of the staff are properly presented and the views of all board members adequately heard.
Clients are asking us to help them attract and hire physician executives who possess these sometimes intangible skills - with or without the MBA credential: * Ability to educate other physicians to the new health care realities * A sales orientation emphasizing effective communication that focuses on patients and payers as customers * Tact and sensitivity in negotiations * Comfort with ambiguity * Flexibility (things need not be done your way, every time)
Since statutory protection of LLC members from the company's liabilities is one of the key attributes making the LLC desirable, an LLC will almost invariably possess the first characteristic.
Global outside directors are well respected in their own countries and possess a wide network of contacts ranging from professional to personal.
The indictment alleges that on or about April 3, 1991, to on or about December 1, 1993, Caron conspired to possess firearms after previously being convicted of a felony.
The beneficiaries, who did not possess a substantial current or future economic interest in the trust corpus, had the right under the trust document to withdraw from the settlor's contributions to the trust an amount not exceeding the $10,000 annual limitation.
All possess considerable financial and management leadership experience, which will facilitate HydroGen's development as a revenue-producing enterprise.
Japan can legally be allowed to possess nuclear arms as long as they are at a ''necessary minimum'' level for its self-defense, the government said Tuesday.
Although many researchers found that people in general possess negative attitudes toward individuals with disabilities (Gething, LaCour, & Wheeler, 1994; Yuker, 1994), much of the research provided comparisons of only one group of individuals to another without identifying attitudes as positive or negative.
Many populations today, including Australian aborigines, possess neck vertebrae comparable in length to those that McCarthy's team considered inadequate for modern speech, Meyer responds.
Possessing or exercising the power to make an adjustment would cause an individual to be treated as the owner of all or part of the trust for income tax purposes, and the individual would not be treated as the owner if the trustee did not possess the power to make an adjustment;