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 obsessional (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

Around the World in 80 Trains: A 45,000-Mile Adventure, by Monisha Rajesh Rajesh has a serious obsession with trains. National Geographic, "12 travel books you won’t be able to put down this summer," 28 June 2019 There was also an obsession with thinness that didn’t always help, which had consequences for battery life on the iPhone and the busted keyboards on recent MacBook Pros. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "With Ive leaving Apple after two decades, it’s the end of an era," 27 June 2019 But this administration’s obsession with picking a fight with Iran isn’t over. Dahleen Glanton, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Six ways Democrats could help reelect Donald Trump in 2020.," 24 June 2019 Obsessed with guns and ammo' A former high school classmate remembers Clyde as having an obsession for firearms and expressing racist and homophobic attitudes. Jennifer Emily, Dallas News, "As gunman took aim at Dallas' federal courthouse, agents 'sprung into action'," 18 June 2019 At the height of their careers, the Jonas Brothers were every young music lover's obsession. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Nick, Joe and Kevin Jonas Reveal Why The Jonas Brothers Broke Up In “Chasing Happiness” Documentary," 5 June 2019 What could be more different from a Republican presidency animated by fear, greed, suspicion of democracy, and an obsession with walling up the old frontier? Christopher Tayler, Harper's magazine, "New Books," 10 Mar. 2019 Los Blancos president Florentino Perez famously has something of an obsession with Neymar, and would love nothing more than to sign the former Barcelona superstar. SI.com, "Neymar 'House Hunting' in Barcelona as Real Madrid Offer Player-Plus-Cash Deal for PSG Superstar," 20 June 2019 The German word for truth is Wahrheit, and with the notable exception of the years 1933–1945, a study of the Teutonic peoples appears to read like a history of truth obsession. Rebecca Schuman, Longreads, "On Truth and Lying in the Extra German Sense," 20 June 2019

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

11 Jul 2019

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 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 obsessional (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on obsession

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characterized by aphorism

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