• (British) IPA: /əbˈsɛst/
  1. Simple past tense and past participle of obsess


  1. Intensely preoccupied with or by a given topic or emotion; driven by a specified obsession.
    • 1997, Philip Roth, American Pastoral:
      What was starting to unsettle him, to frighten him, was the idea that Merry was less horrified now than curious, and soon he himself became obsessed, though not, like her, by the self-immolators in Vietnam but by the change of demeanor of his eleven-year-old.
    • 1999, Mark Lawson, The Guardian, 28 Jun 1999:
      Strangely, although it is an international cliché that the British are obsessed with the weather, it is a fixation with minor irritations: will rain spoil the wedding, the Test Match, the bank holiday?
    • 2007, Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day:
      Everyone lay around in a sort of focused inertia, drinking, handing cigarettes back and forth, forgetting with whom, or whether, they were supposed to be romantically obsessed.
  2. Influenced or controlled by evil spirits, but less than possessed in that the spirits do not actually reside in the victim.
    • E. W. Sprague, 1915, Spirit Obsession Or a False Doctrine & A Menace to Modern Spiritualism, page 86, ISBN 0766140725.
      Believing that an evil spirit is trying to obsess one is a dangerous belief, and when one comes to believe he is obsessed by an evil spirit, though there is not an evil spirit within a thousand miles of him, he will have all the symptoms.
    • 2007, James E. Padgett, The Teachings of Jesus, page 100, ISBN 1430303913.
      It is true, that by the workings of the law of attraction, and the susceptibility of mortals to the influence of spirit powers, mortals may become obsessed by the spirits of evil...
    • 2010, Joseph Agbi, Living in God's Kingdom, page 71, ISBN 1612154107.
      What of demon possession, whereby a person is not only obsessed or oppressed by evil spirits, but these spirits actually reside in such a person?

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