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.

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Las Vegas is next, natch — and, in a town with a frothy cryptocurrency obsession, its main sponsor is Crypto.com. New York Times, 7 May 2022 Some had expected hygiene to be a yearslong obsession. Rachel Wolfe, WSJ, 4 May 2022 Speaking to this extreme, a potential accelerator of pain can be a hyper obsession, reducing all other elements into the background and calling to center agony, the hopelessness that the pain will never go away. Alex Wagner, SPIN, 27 Apr. 2022 Eggers presents Amleth’s quest as both a worthy obsession and an undeniable hindrance. David Sims, The Atlantic, 20 Apr. 2022 Greenberg first wrote Take Me Out after a Marzac-like obsession of the sport took hold back in 1998, when the New York Yankees had a record baseball season with 114 wins. Andrea Towers, EW.com, 5 Apr. 2022 Genealogy is a national obsession right now, and there’s no shortage of books about the family revelations uncovered by research and DNA testing. Washington Post, 1 Apr. 2022 Some sociologists also worry that these products perpetuate a toxic obsession with women's youth. Sara M Moniuszko, USA TODAY, 31 Mar. 2022 With that ending, the Wachowskis kicked off a multi-decade obsession with the world of The Matrix as the audience attempted to fill in the gaps of what might happen next in such a world presented by the film. Adario Strange, Quartz, 26 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of obsession

1680, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of obsession was in 1680

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Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Obsession.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obsession. Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for obsession


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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