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 The right cut, sizing and choice fabrics change depending on current fashion obsession. Bianca Salonga, Forbes, 11 Sep. 2021 At the time, the story dominating headlines, and bordering on popular obsession, was the return of Jaycee Dugard. Longreads, 9 Sep. 2021 The novel, narrated beautifully by actor and singer Elizabeth Knowelden, is a potent concoction of treachery and obsession; village life and romance; dry rot and load-bearing walls. Washington Post, 3 Sep. 2021 Born and bred in Los Angeles, Hawkins has always possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture and a deep obsession with hair. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, 2 Sep. 2021 Barbecue has become a national obsession that stretches far beyond the South, the region it's most associated with. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2 Sep. 2021 Your ideas of love will shift into a deeper and more intense space, but be weary to avoid obsession or fixation as the month progresses. Meghan Ros, Glamour, 1 Sep. 2021 Long before the interstate highway system transformed tedious Point A-to-Point B hauls into a national obsession with recreational road tripping, travel in Western states was all about railroads and the iconic Mother Road, Route 66. Mare Czinar, The Arizona Republic, 28 Aug. 2021 This string of actions almost always ended in a persistent obsession into the details of my own attack. Ernie Suggs, ajc, 26 Aug. 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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Last Updated

13 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Obsession.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obsession. Accessed 19 Sep. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on obsession

Nglish: Translation of obsession for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of obsession for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about obsession


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