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Have vs Hold vs Own vs Possess vs Enjoy

Have, holdownpossessenjoy are comparable when they mean to keep, control, retain, or experience as one’s own.

Have is the most general term and in itself carries no implication of a cause or reason for regarding the thing had as one’s own.

Hold implies stronger control over than have and usually suggests a grasp upon, an occupancy of, or a bond between; thus, “to have friends” implies a mere amicable relationship, but “to hold one’s friends” implies either the reducing of them to subjection or the retaining of their affection; “to have an opinion” implies merely the existence of that opinion, whereas “to hold an opinion” usually suggests its assertion.

Own implies a natural or legal right to hold as one’s property and under one’s full control.

Possess is preferred in law to own as implying one’s having full title and right to a particular property to the exclusion of everyone else; thus, a husband and wife might say that they own a piece of land when legally only the husband possesses it. In general use possess differs from own in being referable to other things than property (as a characteristic, a quality, a power, or a faculty).

Enjoy (see also LIKE ) implies the having of something as one’s own or for one’s use with all its benefits and advantages; in this sense there is no necessary connotation of pleasure or delight in having or using, but, except in law, the word often does carry a hint if not a definite suggestion of it.