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 The new Apple AirPods Pro Everyone is obsessed with Apple AirPods, but the new AirPods Pro are even more enticing. Courtney Campbell, USA TODAY, "The 5 best Amazon new year deals you can get right now," 3 Jan. 2020 Messages from home, Interstellar (2014) Christopher Nolan has long been obsessed with the ways in which film can stretch, squeeze, and re-order time. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The 10 Best Movie Scenes of the 2010s," 31 Dec. 2019 Manfred has been obsessed with the three-hour game and pace of play. Jeff Bailey, The Denver Post, "Festivus 2019: The airing of grievances, sports edition," 23 Dec. 2019 Trump, of course, is obsessed with Time Magazine covers. J.d. Crowe | Jdcrowe@al.com, al, "Greta is ‘Person of the Year’; jealous Trump deserves his own award," 13 Dec. 2019 In Mina’s ingenious thriller, Scottish housewife Anna McLean is obsessed with sensational true crime podcasts. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Best mysteries of 2019: Carole E. Barrowman's picks include Laura Lippman, Attica Locke, Miriam Toews," 13 Dec. 2019 Americans were obsessed with trying — largely in vain — to get ahead of inflation. Chicago Tribune, Twin Cities, "Other voices: High inflation? What’s that? Volcker’s legacy," 12 Dec. 2019 For three years, many of the child survivors have obsessed over Osborne coming back for them. Author: John Woodrow Cox, Anchorage Daily News, "Underage killers test limits of justice system," 25 Nov. 2019 Why was the Seventh Kavalry obsessed with romaine lettuce? Time, "All the Questions We Still Have After the End of Watchmen," 16 Dec. 2019

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

9 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Obsess.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obsess. Accessed 19 January 2020.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on obsess

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for obsess

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with obsess

Spanish Central: Translation of obsess

Nglish: Translation of obsess for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of obsess for Arabic Speakers

Comments on obsess

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


to insert between existing elements

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