ob·sess | \əb-ˈses, 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

Like Shatner, Ybarra also appreciates the film for its emphasis on the ties that bind Kirk to friends, family and crew, though Ybarra also relishes Montelbán’s performance as the Ahablike baddie obsessed with Kirk. René A. Guzman, San Antonio Express-News, "William Shatner returns to San Antonio for ‘Wrath of Khan’ Q&A at the Tobin Center," 19 June 2018 Silicon Valley has become practically obsessed with transportation, from Elon Musk’s proposal to dig a tunnel to O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, to an arms race to improve driverless cars. New York Times, "New Era for Bike-Share in New York: Dockless and Electric Bikes," 3 July 2018 Remember last year, when the internet became obsessed with a viral video showing the most efficient way to cut a cake? Olivia Harrison, refinery29.com, "We've Been Cutting Watermelon Incorrectly Our Whole Lives," 28 June 2018 After his initial visitto New Orleans, Domitrovich has since visited a few more times and subsequently became obsessed with learning about the history of the city. Grace Wong, chicagotribune.com, "Just Opened: Ina Mae brings a taste of New Orleans to Wicker Park," 20 June 2018 The league became obsessed with beating the Warriors, and the Cavaliers were such a hot mess that one of their players threw a bowl of soup at one of their coaches in the middle of the season. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "The Warriors and Cavs Will Meet Again. Here’s Why This Time Is Different," 29 May 2018 Does the ruling mean announcers will become obsessed with gambling? Marc Bona, cleveland.com, "Sports gambling Q&A: What the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling means," 15 May 2018 Literary fiction, under the sign of modernism, became too obsessed with experimentation and wordplay, while journalism, under the imperative of objectivity, adopted an arid view from nowhere. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Tom Wolfe reunited journalism with literature.," 15 May 2018 Years ago, true-crime author Michelle McNamara became obsessed with the Golden State Killer. Alix Langone, Time, "The ‘Bittersweet’ Story Behind Michelle McNamara’s Golden State Killer Book That Sold Out Overnight," 26 Apr. 2018

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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Statistics for obsess

Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for obsess

The first known use of obsess was in 1531

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More Definitions for obsess



English Language Learners Definition of obsess

: to be the only person or thing that someone thinks or talks about

: to think and talk about someone or something too much


ob·sess | \əb-ˈses \
obsessed; obsessing

Kids Definition of obsess

: to occupy the thoughts of completely or abnormally A new scheme obsesses him.

ob·sess | \əb-ˈses, äb- \

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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