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

Each collection is obsession worthy, but Ravenna Home takes the cake. Jaime Osnato, SELF, "Amazon’s New Home Collection Is My Vision Board Come to Life—Here Are 13 Things I Want," 21 Nov. 2018 Each member of the trio snipes at the others, experiences hatred and obsession, and drives the others crazy. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Bad Times at the El Royale turns a once-glamorous hotel into purgatory, with mixed results," 3 Oct. 2018 In Delaware, a decadeslong obsession over tags with few digits has given rise to a vibrant private market. Scott Calvert, WSJ, "Pimp Your Ride: Splurge on a Lower License-Plate Number," 19 Sep. 2018 But in general, this obsession with — worries about — mobs is growing. Eric Johnson, Recode, "How a Twitter account convinced 4,000 companies to stop advertising on Breitbart," 3 Sep. 2018 Audience obsession over the romantic lives of celebrities spans across popular media, whether there’s gossip about Drake’s latest fling or forensic investigations of the latest Taylor Swift album for evidence of new flames. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "For women on Twitch, disclosing their relationship status is a minefield," 8 Aug. 2018 Find Your Niche Think about your obsessions, passions, and talents. Danielle Fox, Seventeen, "How to Become Instagram Famous," 24 July 2018 Hardy's passion - one could even call it an obsession - with this cause makes a compelling read for anyone in need of a smile this Tuesday. Madeline Mitchell, Cincinnati.com, "3 headlines: Cow suits, a Metro hero and the best turtle sundae in Cincinnati," 10 July 2018 Fashion’s obsession with eccentric people – and people read as eccentrics due to their marginalization — likely has something to do with its never-ending quest for the new (see also: Pose on FX). refinery29.com, "Why Fashion People Love Cult Film Grey Gardens," 3 July 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

12 Dec 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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