possession


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Related to possession: Demonic possession

*in someone's possession

held by someone; owned by someone. (*Typically: be ~; come [into] ~.) The book is now in my possession. How long has this object been in your possession?
See also: possession

Possession is nine-tenths of the law.

Prov. If you actually possess something, you have a stronger legal claim to owning it than someone who merely says it belongs to him or her. Dana may say he owns this house, but we actually live in it, and possession is nine-tenths of the law.
See also: law, of, possession

take possession (of something)

to assume ownership of something. I am to take possession of the house as soon as we sign the papers.
See also: possession, take

Possession is nine-tenths of the law.

something that you say which means that if you have something, it is difficult for other people to take it away from you It would be hard to ask for the piano back after they've had it for so long. Possession is nine-tenths of the law and all that.
See also: law, of, possession

possession is nine points of the law

Actually holding something is better than merely claiming it. For example, When Karen told John he must return the sofa he'd borrowed, he said possession is nine points of the law . This term originally alluded to nine elements that would aid someone's lawsuit, among them a good lawyer, good witnesses, a good jury, a good judge, and good luck. In time, however, the term was used more for squatter's rights. [Late 1500s]
See also: law, nine, of, point, possession

possession is nine-tenths of the law

Custody presumes ownership. The basis of this legal maxim that comes down from the 17th-century is the commonsense observation that if you have control of something, chances are better than average that it's yours. Lawyers term it a rebuttable presumption: ownership is recognized unless disproved by someone holding a more valid claim. The phrase started life as “possession is nine points of the law,” which referred to possession's satisfying nine out of eleven factors that constituted absolute ownership. However, “nine-tenths” entered popular usage to reflect the idea that custody is 90 percent of legal ownership.
See also: law, of, possession
References in classic literature ?
While, however, he discharged his functions with credit and fidelity, Marmaduke never seemed to lose sight of his own interests; for, when the estates of the adherents of the crown fell under the hammer, by the acts of confiscation, he appeared in New York, and became the purchaser of extensive possessions at comparatively low prices.
But avarice it was that burned most strongly in his breast, to the end that he dared the dangers and suffered the terrors of constant association with him he thought a mad man, rather than give up the hope of obtaining possession of the fortune which the contents of the little pouch represented.
And when he saw Cocky, one day, perched and voluble, on the twisted fingers of Kwaque's left hand, Ah Moy discovered such instant distaste for the bird that not even eighteen shillings, coupled with possession of Cocky and possible contact, had any value to him.
On the twenty-eighth of October the Fiscal was in possession of all the information that we could collect, and our duties for the time
The possession of the poison was traced directly to my husband, and to no one else.
Having the arsenic in his possession, what had he done with it?
I never had access to the arsenic after I placed the two packages in my wife's possession.
The Plutocracy, by virtue of its possession of the government, raised their taxes.
Yet they were more fortunate than the Grangers, who captured a dozen state governments, and who, in the spring, were not permitted to take possession of the captured offices.
Such a war would virtually put the Oligarchy in possession of the world-market.
If he did not try to conceal his satisfaction at coming into possession of this fortune, which enabled him to give himself up to his passion for pure science, he had equally to rejoice, it seemed to him, for another cause.
at my own particular request, mind, and because it vexed me to see anybody but myself in possession of the key of the late Sir John's cellar)--then, I say, I fetched up some of our famous Latour claret, and set it in the warm summer air to take off the chill before dinner.
Her note is still in my possession, the note in answer to that letter about her unhappy daughter which Sir Percival obliged me to write.
as I may now venture to add on my account) of plain Marian Halcombe, spinster, now settled in a snug little sitting-room, with a cup of tea by her side, and all her earthly possessions ranged round her in three boxes and a bag.
RAWALPINDI -- Police have arrested 14 outlaws and recovered drugs, weapons and bottles of liquor from their possession on Sunday, informed police spokesman.