mid-15c., possessif, grammatical, "pertaining to or denoting possession," also as a noun, "pronoun or other word denoting possession," from Old French possessif (15c.) "relating to possession, possessive," and directly from Latin possessivus, from possess-, past participle stem of possidere "to possess" (see possess). From 1550s in general use. Related: Possessively; possessiveness. The possessive case is the genitive case.