oc·​cu·​pa·​tion | \ ˌä-kyə-ˈpā-shən How to pronounce occupation (audio) \

Definition of occupation

1a : an activity in which one engages Pursuing pleasure has been his major occupation.
b : the principal business of one's life : vocation Teaching was her occupation.
2a : the possession, use, or settlement of land : occupancy the last of the historic private houses in the metropolis … still in the occupation of its hereditary ownerSidney (Australia) Bull.
b : the holding of an office or position it is only … the occupation … of two offices at the same time that offends public policy— W. D. Miller
3a : the act or process of taking possession of a place or area : seizure Spain's occupation of the island
b : the holding and control of an area by a foreign military force the Roman occupation of Britain
c : the military force occupying a country or the policies carried out by it The occupation addressed the concerns of the local population.

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Choose the Right Synonym for occupation

work, employment, occupation, calling, pursuit, métier, business mean a specific sustained activity engaged in especially in earning one's living. work may apply to any purposeful activity whether remunerative or not. her work as a hospital volunteer employment implies work for which one has been engaged and is being paid by an employer. your employment with this firm is hereby terminated occupation implies work in which one engages regularly especially as a result of training. his occupation as a trained auto mechanic calling applies to an occupation viewed as a vocation or profession. the ministry seemed my true calling pursuit suggests a trade, profession, or avocation followed with zeal or steady interest. her family considered medicine the only proper pursuit métier implies a calling or pursuit for which one believes oneself to be especially fitted. acting was my one and only métier business suggests activity in commerce or the management of money and affairs. the business of managing a hotel

Examples of occupation in a Sentence

He is thinking about changing occupations and becoming a police officer. “What's your occupation?” “I'm a stay-at-home mom.” Swimming was their main occupation at summer camp. Some evidence of human occupation was found in these caves. The offices are ready for occupation.
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Recent Examples on the Web Even many nonmembers of Hezbollah credit Mr. Nasrallah with ousting Israel from its 18-year occupation of south Lebanon. Vivian Yee, New York Times, "For Lebanon’s Shiites, a Dilemma: Stay Loyal to Hezbollah or Keep Protesting?," 4 Feb. 2020 Jackson lists her occupation as director of compliance. John Delapp, Houston Chronicle, "Bay Area features many primary contests," 17 Jan. 2020 Richard will continue working in construction management, which has been his primary occupation. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "After 15 years, Pedal'rs Inn Bed and Breakfast in Wales has closed," 3 Jan. 2020 Nazi German forces killed an estimated 1.1 million people at the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex during their occupation of Poland during World War II. Fox News, "Germany's Angela Merkel visits Auschwitz for first time amid rising anti-Semitism," 6 Dec. 2019 Frances spent her childhood in a variety of venues as her father plied his many occupations, ultimately ending up on the shores of paper Goods Pond in Kensington. courant.com, "Frances Margaret Pagini," 1 Dec. 2019 Protesters set fire to the toll booths during their occupation of Polytechnic University that overlooks the approach to the tunnel, one of three connecting Hong Kong Island with the rest of the city. BostonGlobe.com, "HONG KONG — Hong Kong schools reopened Wednesday after a six-day shutdown, but students and commuters faced transit disruptions as the last antigovernment protesters remained holed up on a university campus, surrounded by police.," 21 Nov. 2019 With intel provided by Helen (Chelah Horsdal), Juliana Crain (Alexa Davalos) and the Resistance were able to ambush a Nazi train bound for the Poconos after the Japanese decide to end their North American occupation. Nick Romano, EW.com, "The Man in the High Castle ending explained: Series boss unpacks the 'ambiguous' finale," 19 Nov. 2019 Japanese firms have got better at dealing with Chinese grievances over Japan’s failure to atone for its wartime occupation of parts of China, when firms such as Mitsubishi Materials forced Chinese labourers to toil in Japanese mines. The Economist, "Japan Inc has thrived in China of late," 9 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'occupation.' 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 occupation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for occupation

Middle English occupacioun "possession of land, engagement in an activity, vocation, concern," borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French occupaciun, borrowed from Latin occupātiōn-, occupātiō "seizing possession, preoccupation," from occupāre "to grasp, take possession of, fill up (space, a position)" + -tiōn- -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at occupy

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Time Traveler for occupation

Time Traveler

The first known use of occupation was in the 14th century

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Statistics for occupation

Last Updated

11 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Occupation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/occupation. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for occupation


How to pronounce occupation (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of occupation

: the work that a person does : a person's job or profession
: an activity that a person spends time doing
: the activity of living in or using a particular place


oc·​cu·​pa·​tion | \ ˌä-kyə-ˈpā-shən How to pronounce occupation (audio) \

Kids Definition of occupation

1 : a person's business or profession His uncle was a tailor by occupation.
2 : the act of using or taking possession and control of a place Human occupation of this area began thousands of years ago.

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