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 Yuan's obsessions — his focus on video, on ease-of-use, on building scalable architecture — all paid off, and amid a cratering global market, Zoom's stock surged over 200%. Jon Sarlin, CNN, "Everyone you know uses Zoom. That wasn't the plan," 21 May 2020 Bezos has inculcated his business with three bedrock principles that guide all decision-making: customer obsession, extreme innovation, and long-term management. Brian Dumaine, Fortune, "Amazon was built for the pandemic—and will likely emerge from it stronger than ever," 18 May 2020 Their children nurse their own obsessions: comic artist Molly (Kristen Bell) with a certain boy, and her brother Cole (Tituss Burgess) with animals. Judy Berman, Time, "Central Park Is a Sweet, Rude Love Letter to Public Spaces From the Team Behind Bob's Burgers," 18 May 2020 What Dear White People was trying to do was lampoon whiteness and legitimize blackness, which is the ultimate obsession of hashtag TV—the case for authenticity. Jason Parham, Wired, "The Rise and Limits of Hashtag TV," 18 Apr. 2020 Two of her children joined in on the obsession, going semipro. Lizzie Johnson, SFChronicle.com, "Beloved Bayview great-grandmother: the life and death of SF’s 4th coronavirus victim," 13 Apr. 2020 Our business model is built upon speed, innovation, and customer obsession—things that are generally not associated with unions. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Leaked Amazon memo: Walkout leader “not smart or articulate”," 3 Apr. 2020 Motorheads now have a great way to indulge in their car obsession. Andrea Romano, Travel + Leisure, "Calling All Car Lovers: You Can Take a Virtual Tour of the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Germany," 21 Apr. 2020 Meet Marla Cilley, whose piecemeal cleaning method might just be your next obsession. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need to Know About the "FlyLady" and Her Approach to Cleaning," 20 Apr. 2020

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

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Obsession.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obsession. Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for obsession


How to pronounce obsession (audio)

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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