possessed by (something)

possessed by (something)

Obsessively motivated or driven by something. He has always been possessed by a need to be the center of attention, which is why he is playing those stupid pranks all the time. Because he grew up in such poverty, my father was possessed by a desire to be wealthy.
See also: by, possessed
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*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: by, possessed
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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: by, possessed
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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