oc·cu·pa·tion | \ˌä-kyə-ˈpā-shən \

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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Other Words from occupation

occupational \ˌä-kyə-ˈpā-shnəl, -shə-nᵊl \ adjective
occupationally adverb

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

In most occupations, there are rules to follow and legal consequences for flouting them. Mike Hendricks, kansascity, "Firefighters protect us. Who protects them?," 13 July 2018 There was a rise in Asian immigrants working in low skill occupations from 1970 to 1990 as immigration policies favored family reunification and as the Vietnam war ended. David Carrig, USA TODAY, "Study: Asians displace blacks as most economically divided group," 12 July 2018 In San Francisco, workers in those same occupations earn an average of $86,100 but take home $52,300, and in San Jose, the average salary is $81,300 and the take-home is even lower at $49,300. Cathie Anderson, sacbee, "Which city’s health workers boast highest disposable income? Hint: It’s a capital," 28 June 2018 But these graduates have enjoyed a 95% job-placement rate, in occupations ranging from landscaping to working as a chef’s assistant. Anne Kadet, WSJ, "Urban Farming Program Cultivates Opportunity in the Projects," 12 June 2018 Actually, that's not an ethos as much as an observational fact of life, true in almost every occupation. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Sprinting worked for the Patriots. Why not for Matt Patricia's Lions?," 11 June 2018 Teachers includes only public teachers and are identified using detailed Census occupation codes. Sam Petulla And Brandon Griggs, CNN, "Here's how far teacher salaries have fallen behind," 27 Apr. 2018 The 41-day armed occupation of Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016 was a media sensation. Kristi Turnquist | The Oregonian/oregonlive, OregonLive.com, "Director calls PBS documentary on Malheur refuge occupation 'a story about American identity'," 3 May 2018 The occupation with the most job advertisements was software developers with 1,463. Phillip Molnar, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Unemployment rate stays low, led by tourism hiring," 15 June 2018

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, from Anglo-French occupaciun, from Latin occupation-, occupatio, from occupare

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Phrases Related to occupation

occupational hazard

Statistics for occupation

Last Updated

21 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for occupation

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

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More Definitions for occupation



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 \

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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Comments on occupation

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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