What possessed (someone) to (do something)?

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What possessed (someone) to (do something)?

Why would someone do something so reckless, foolish, or dangerous? What possessed you to participate in a road race? You could have gotten yourself killed! What possessed them to discontinue such a popular product? They were selling like hotcakes!
See also: possessed, what

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 ?
Treacherous little gadget; what possessed us to buy it in the first place?
You may ask what possessed us to move to this remove northern island, north of John O'Groats and only 200 miles from Norway.