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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 ?
It is alleged that he possessed 3,642 still indecent images of children aged between eight and 17 between November 2011 and February this year.
of smuggling and possessing methadone after he contended that he possessed the pills for medical purposes and not for promotion.
2 kilograms of cannabis for promotional purposes contending that he possessed the banned substance for his own consumption.
A BIRMINGHAM man charged with murdering his pregnant wife amid suspicions she had been overwhelmed by "evil spirits" claimed he had also been possessed, jurors heard.
The island individuals, who lived between 100,000 and 12,000 years ago, stood about 3 feet, 3 inches tall and possessed chimpanzee-size brains.
Finally, Hastings and Oakford (2003) found that student teachers possessed more negative attitudes toward students with behavioral and/or emotional problems than toward students with cognitive disabilities.
When there was a movement away from emulsion SBR over to solution SBR in order to improve the tire rolling resistance for a tread, the S-SBR based compounds possessed more bagging characteristics on the mill because of the higher molecular weight and the narrower molecular weight distribution (ref.
Bank president Neil McCurry is a man possessed by films--so smitten that, as a 40th birthday present to himself last summer, he wrote, filmed and produced a 20-minute horror movie called Possessed, which premiered last fall at the Eerie Horror Film Festival in Erie, Pa.
John's gospel, interestingly, has no stories about demons, but Jesus is accused of being possessed by one on three separate occasions.
The 7 pulsotype B isolates possessed SCCmec IV but were not of the 4 known IV subtypes (IV not a-d); all were CIP- and SXT-susceptible but GEN-resistant.
A hybrid thriller that mixes courtroom arguments with psychological terror, ``Emily Rose'' follows the case of a priest (Tom Wilkinson) who stands accused of negligence in the death of a young woman he believed to be possessed.
The appeals court affirmed, finding that the defendant would only violate the condition if he possessed a "dangerous weapon" in a context that, by the dictates of common sense, had no legitimate everyday use.
Shirin Neshat's luminous black-and-white video Possessed, 2001, which lent the show its title, depicts--to the accompaniment of Sussan Deyhim's soaring, mournful sound track--a lovely, wildeyed woman muttering to herself, whispering into cracks in walls, and stirring up trouble in a town square.
Knowledge possessed by an organization helps in generating innovations, making changes to product and service offerings and outwitting competitors.
Each crimped polyester fiber possesses a tensile strenght about the same as the tensile factor possessed by an otherwise identical uncrimped polyester fiber.