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 Superhero movies have drastically altered the perception of comic-books and the people who read, collect and obsess over them, Wall says. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, 10 Jan. 2022 This isn’t 2005, where global moviegoers would obsess about whether Angelina Jolie broke up Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston and then spend $487 million on Mr. and Mrs. Smith in theaters. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, 7 Dec. 2021 Jockeys, like fashion models, must obsess about their weight and therefore their diet, so their bones become brittle. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, 30 Dec. 2021 While central banks obsess about inflation expectations, they may be better informed by extrapolating the current population mix to determine tipping points that may trigger inflation. Randy Brown, Forbes, 13 Sep. 2021 But one question home cooks don’t need to obsess over: the best oil for frying. Alex Delany, Bon Appétit, 30 Nov. 2021 For the adventure kitty Equally entertaining for kitty and human, the adventure-loving family will obsess over the Basecamp Dome Tent from Tiny Tents. Brandon Schultz, Forbes, 14 Nov. 2021 And when not at work, Gemma continues to obsess over it. Kathy Miller Perkins, Forbes, 4 Nov. 2021 In fact, the show has garnered a fandom of super-enthusiasts who gather in groups on the internet to dissect plot points, post memes, and generally obsess over every aspect of Euphoria, including its actors. Allure, 17 Nov. 2021

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

27 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Obsess.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obsess. Accessed 29 Jan. 2022.

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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 How to pronounce obsess (audio) \
obsessed; obsessing

Kids Definition of obsess

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


transitive verb
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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