occupation

noun
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 Farming is an intense occupation that requires passion and unwavering dedication. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, "Winners of the 2021 Sony World Photography Awards," 21 Apr. 2021 The requirements under the Canadian program are that the foreign workers must be working in an eligible occupation. Andy J. Semotiuk, Forbes, "Essential Foreign Workers Key To Pandemic Relief And U.S. Recovery," 19 Apr. 2021 In selecting a skilled-trade school, Social Finance, working with Burning Glass Technologies, which analyzes job-market data, sought a program for an occupation in demand with potential for the worker to move up the career ladder. New York Times, "Job Training That’s Free Until You’re Hired Is a Blueprint for Biden," 7 Apr. 2021 Born in England in 1799, Anna Atkins was an amateur botanist (an activity then considered by British society to be an appropriate occupation for a lady). Leslie Nemo, Scientific American, "Female Botanist Published the First Ever Photo Book," 29 Mar. 2021 In late June, in a video on the news site Unicorn Riot, the activist Jennifer Bennetch was standing around, waiting to announce an occupation. Robin Kaiser-schatzlein, The New Republic, "How Housing Activists Took on Philadelphia and Won," 29 Mar. 2021 The teaching profession in 1920 was by far an occupation for single women. Kevin Dayhoff, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Dayhoff: Vaccinations, married teachers, and contagious diseases were topics of concern for public school officials in the 1870s," 26 Mar. 2021 About 45% of contributors who listed an occupation were retired. Dustin Gardiner, San Francisco Chronicle, "Newsom recall bankrolled by wealthy mega-donors, national Republicans - and retirees," 3 Mar. 2021 In these parts winter isn't so much a season, but an occupation. Star Tribune, "Calm But Still Chilly Friday - Warming Up This Weekend," 18 Feb. 2021

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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Learn More about occupation

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

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Occupation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/occupation. Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for occupation

occupation

noun

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

occupation

noun
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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Comments on occupation

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