obsessive

adjective
ob·​ses·​sive | \ äb-ˈse-siv How to pronounce obsessive (audio) , əb- \

Definition of obsessive

1a : tending to cause obsession
b : excessive often to an unreasonable degree
2 : of, relating to, or characterized by obsession : deriving from obsession

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from obsessive

obsessive noun
obsessively adverb
obsessiveness noun

Examples of obsessive in a Sentence

Many dancers are obsessive about their weight. He is an obsessive workaholic who never stops thinking about his job. an obsessive interest in space travel The new therapy is supposed to help people control their obsessive thoughts.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Nothing escaped Cunningham’s keen and obsessive observation. Melissa Harris, The New York Review of Books, "‘That Single Fleeting Moment’: Merce Cunningham in Images," 11 Jan. 2020 Now, in the dimming tints of a decade that moved at warp speed, the here and now is defined doubly: by obsessives and obsessive technologies. Jason Parham, Wired, "The 10 Best Artists of a Decade That Atomized Music," 31 Dec. 2019 That's largely thanks to Tesla's obsessive attention to efficiency. Peter Valdes-dapena, CNN, "Tesla's topsy-turvy 2019," 21 Dec. 2019 But impeachment has also highlighted the reporting of the news journalists at Fox, who strain for credibility in an era when their network has been transformed by the obsessive attention of the president. Sarah Ellison, Washington Post, "How the president’s favorite news network covered his impeachment," 19 Dec. 2019 This requires obsessive attention to detail, since every ingredient decision ripples across the frozen terrain and changes the end product. Ali Bouzari, SFChronicle.com, "The molecular science behind a Larkspur shop’s blueberry ice cream," 27 Sep. 2019 Not to knock tradition, but creations like these are an expression of pure culinary joy — the intersection of a wild imagination and obsessive attention to detail with the humble crepe as the hook. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "These are the best restaurants in Tempe," 6 Aug. 2019 Yet its ills have been chronicled with almost obsessive attention. Vanessa Friedman, New York Times, "Of Barneys’ Bankruptcy, Pride and the Fall," 6 Aug. 2019 Both genres, for me, involve a kind of obsessive attention. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Those Limits Were Not Hindrances: An Interview with Megan Pugh," 25 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'obsessive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of obsessive

1897, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about obsessive

Time Traveler for obsessive

Time Traveler

The first known use of obsessive was in 1897

See more words from the same year

Statistics for obsessive

Last Updated

4 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Obsessive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obsessive. Accessed 9 Apr. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for obsessive

obsessive

adjective
How to pronounce obsessive (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of obsessive

: thinking about something or someone too much or in a way that is not normal : having an obsession : showing or relating to an obsession

obsessive

adjective
ob·​ses·​sive | \ äb-ˈses-iv, əb- How to pronounce obsessive (audio) \

Medical Definition of obsessive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of, relating to, causing, or characterized by obsession : deriving from obsession obsessive behavior

Other Words from obsessive

obsessively adverb
obsessiveness noun

obsessive

noun

Medical Definition of obsessive (Entry 2 of 2)

: an obsessive individual

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on obsessive

What made you want to look up obsessive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!