Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

preoccupy

play
verb pre·oc·cu·py \-ˌpī\

Simple Definition of preoccupy

  • : to be thought about or worried about by (someone) very often or constantly

Full Definition of preoccupy

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to engage or engross the interest or attention of beforehand or preferentially

  3. 2 :  to take possession of or fill beforehand or before another

Examples of preoccupy

  1. The question of life after death has preoccupied many philosophers.



Origin of preoccupy

Latin praeoccupare, literally, to seize in advance, from prae- + occupare to seize, occupy


First Known Use: 1567



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up preoccupy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

kittly-benders pince-nez duvet spindrift
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ