ob·​ses·​sion | \ äb-ˈse-shən How to pronounce obsession (audio) , 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 How to pronounce obsession (audio) , -​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 My roommate worked at MAC and fueled my obsession with makeup around the age of 20. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Patrick Ta No Longer Cares If He's Relevant," 6 Apr. 2021 Something else could be behind our obsession with Cicadafest 2021. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, "Cicadas Know How to End a Multiyear Lockdown," 5 Apr. 2021 His obsession with film study hasn’t kept him from botching box-outs or defensive rotations 35 games into his rookie season. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, "How Warriors’ James Wiseman is leaving LaMelo hype, rookie setbacks behind him," 3 Apr. 2021 Her undying preteen crush, teen obsession, and still the object of her nightly fantasies. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "'The Dating Plan' Is Our April Book Club Pick," 29 Mar. 2021 My parents started us on this obsession (and cannoli, biscotti, and pizzelle for dessert), as the kitchen table and sweets were the center of our family gatherings for generations past and generations to come. BostonGlobe.com, "Letters to the editor of Globe Magazine," 19 Mar. 2021 Miguel Arteta directed this pitch-black comedy about obsession and immaturity that was written by and stars the great Mike White. Brian Tallerico, Vulture, "The 30 Best Comedies on Amazon Prime," 11 Jan. 2021 There’s plenty of cuteness too — lots of little kids are involved — and where dance stories often focus on obsession and dysfunction, this leans to dedication and joy. Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times, "38 Christmas movies and specials to watch on TV this week," 21 Dec. 2020 Their obsession with thinness and fit teas is problematic at best and damaging at worst. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," 18 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for obsession

Time Traveler

The first known use of obsession was in 1680

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Statistics for obsession

Last Updated

10 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Obsession.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obsession. Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce obsession (audio) \

Kids Definition of obsession

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


ob·​ses·​sion | \ äb-ˈsesh-ən, əb- How to pronounce obsession (audio) \

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 How to pronounce obsession (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on obsession

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