ob·​sess | \ əb-ˈses How to pronounce obsess (audio) , äb- \
obsessed; obsessing; obsesses

Definition of obsess

transitive verb

: to haunt or excessively preoccupy the mind of was obsessed with the idea She was obsessed with her car.

intransitive verb

: to engage in obsessive thinking : become obsessed with an idea He's always obsessing over money.

Examples of obsess in a Sentence

The war obsesses him—he talks about nothing else. You need to stop obsessing and just deal with the problem.
Recent Examples on the Web Granted, the Gossip Girl meets Emma.-esque show has a lot to obsess over: elaborate costumes, transportive settings, and even a bit of mystery. Natalie Morin, refinery29.com, "People Are Obsessed With This 3-Minute Bridgerton Sex Montage," 5 Jan. 2021 Roasted beef bones and a few beef shanks don’t obsess over whether pundits did their bidding or not. John Kass, chicagotribune.com, "Column: What are you cooking for Christmas dinner?," 21 Dec. 2020 The important thing is not to obsess over finding the one thing that will provide the biggest CO2 reduction, but to find a starting place that makes sense for your needs and budget, and keep going from there. Tim Mcdonnell, Quartz, "How to shop without destroying the climate," 17 Dec. 2020 Scroll on for some of our favorite takes on the trend, and prepare to obsess. Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, "Velvet Nails Are Trending for the Holidays, and They’re Gorgeous," 11 Dec. 2020 From the looks of it, Rhimes is off to a great start at her new home — and Shondalanda stans may have a new series by their fave to obsess over, especially if Grey's Anatomy comes to an end after all. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, "Shonda Rhimes’ New Series Is Like A Regency-Era Gossip Girl," 2 Nov. 2020 But thanks to modern technology, people are finding ways to obsess on social media together, apart. Heather Kelly, Washington Post, "Zoom parties and Twitch streams: How people are spending election night virtually," 2 Nov. 2020 Don’t obsess over early-vote statistics Unprecedented numbers of Americans have voted early. David Lauter Washington Bureau Chief, Los Angeles Times, "Essential Politics: How to watch election night like a pro," 30 Oct. 2020 Ahead, scroll into 22 of the most stunning sets that any beauty stan will obsess over. Karina Hoshikawa, refinery29.com, "22 Glam Gift Sets That Beauty Stans Will Obsess Over," 23 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'obsess.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of obsess

1531, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for obsess

Latin obsessus, past participle of obsidēre to frequent, besiege, from ob- against + sedēre to sit — more at ob-, sit

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Time Traveler for obsess

Time Traveler

The first known use of obsess was in 1531

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Statistics for obsess

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Obsess.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obsess. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for obsess


How to pronounce obsess (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of obsess

: to be the only person or thing that someone thinks or talks about
informal : to think and talk about someone or something too much


ob·​sess | \ əb-ˈses How to pronounce obsess (audio) \
obsessed; obsessing

Kids Definition of obsess

: to occupy the thoughts of completely or abnormally A new scheme obsesses him.
ob·​sess | \ əb-ˈses, äb- How to pronounce obsess (audio) \

Medical Definition of obsess

: to preoccupy intensely or abnormally was obsessed with success

intransitive verb

: to engage in obsessive thinking solve problems rather than obsess about them— Carol Tavris

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Comments on obsess

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