ob·ses·sion | \äb-ˈse-shən, əb-\

Definition of obsession 

1 : a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling broadly : compelling motivation an obsession with profits has an obsession with gambling

2 : something that causes an obsession Losing weight can be an obsession that results in the avoidance of certain foods.

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Other Words from obsession

obsessional \äb-ˈsesh-nəl, -ˈse-shə-nᵊl, əb- \ adjective
obsessionally adverb

Examples of obsession in a Sentence

He was fascinated by the actress and tracking her every move had become an obsession. She has an obsession about cleanliness. Her concern about cleanliness approaches the level of obsession. Money has become an obsession for him.
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Recent Examples on the Web

His young and diverse side has reinvigorated the country's enthusiasm, passion and obsession with the game; and the victory in the penalty shootout could have, rather, marked a change in direction for the team, and England as a country. SI.com, "England United: How Gareth Southgate's Young Lions Have Brought a Country Together," 11 July 2018 Until one day, when the pain of starving, binging, obsession, and self-hatred finally became too much to live with. Hannah Howard, SELF, "My Eating Disorder Recovery Helped Me Finally Realize That It’s No One’s Job to Validate How I Look," 5 July 2018 Summer’s delayed arrival has spurred a weather forecast obsession and constant disappointment in the world’s northernmost capital city. Washington Post, "Europe’s sunny weather makes for a sorry summer in Reykjavik," 4 July 2018 Summer's delayed arrival has spurred a weather forecast obsession and constant disappointment in the world's northernmost capital city. Egill Bjarnason, Fox News, "Europe's sunny weather makes for a sorry summer in Reykjavik," 4 July 2018 The whole thing is a wry joke on self-obsession and navel gazing: A New Yorker’s world begins and ends in New York. Siddhartha Mukherjee, New York Times, "The Search for Cancer Treatment Beyond Mutant-Hunting," 13 June 2018 Your friends' hashtag campaigns and GIF obsessions—and fan trailers—are more likely to end up touching your life anyway. Emma Grey Ellis, WIRED, "What Brought Sense8 Back—and What Killed It in the First Place," 8 June 2018 But he is thrown into the depths of obsession and longing when a suave, affluent man (Yeun) enters the picture. Lee Hyo-won, The Hollywood Reporter, "Cannes Critics' Prize Winner 'Burning,' Starring Steven Yeun, Sells to China, U.K., Australia," 23 May 2018 The new owner will spend time with Nike print designer KJ LeBeau, who will hand draw, on white denim upholstery, an original illustration based on the owner's lifestyle, obsessions and cultural interests. Janet Eastman, OregonLive.com, "See what artists did to those old Portland airport benches (photos)," 23 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'obsession.' 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 obsession

1680, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for obsession

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for obsession

The first known use of obsession was in 1680

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More Definitions for obsession



English Language Learners Definition of obsession

: a state in which someone thinks about someone or something constantly or frequently especially in a way that is not normal

: someone or something that a person thinks about constantly or frequently

: an activity that someone is very interested in or spends a lot of time doing


ob·ses·sion | \əb-ˈse-shən \

Kids Definition of obsession

: a persistent abnormally strong interest in or concern about someone or something


ob·ses·sion | \äb-ˈsesh-ən, əb- \

Medical Definition of obsession 

: a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling also : something that causes such preoccupation — compare compulsion, phobia

Other Words from obsession

obsessional \-ˈsesh-nəl, -ən-ᵊl \ adjective

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Comments on obsession

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