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

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 The lead-up to that occupation was tense and chaotic, as Kneale portrays vividly in his book's strongest chapter. Steve Donoghue, The Christian Science Monitor, "'Rome' tells the story of the Eternal City through seven moments of defeat," 1 June 2018 Kate's occupation is princess, by virtue of being the wife of a prince. Kim Fusaro, Glamour, "What Is Meghan Markle's Royal Title Going to Be?," 17 May 2018 But the fire has also raised the specter that the occupations could be death traps, where squatters make improvised connections to electrical lines and do any maintenance themselves. Sarah Dilorenzo, Fox News, "Fire in Sao Paulo squat shines light on housing shortage," 8 May 2018 The Minnesota Governor’s Residence, where there was an occupation in response to the police shooting of Philando Castile across weeks in July 2017, is just seven miles away from where the football mainstay event will be held. Vanessa Taylor, Teen Vogue, "Super Bowl 52 May Have a Negative Impact on Minneapolis Youth," 2 Feb. 2018 The government reckons that the fastest-growing occupation over the next ten years will be that of solar installer. The Economist, "The harm done by America’s new tariffs," 25 Jan. 2018 State occupation will be gradual The Tax Commission will be the first agency to move in, with its 438 employees moving in starting in the fall. John Sowell, idahostatesman, "HP’s big Boise campus now belongs to you. Here’s what that means," 20 Jan. 2018 However, the Economic Graph … [ensures] that every occupation is reflected. Lolade Fadulu, The Atlantic, "Filling America's 6 Million Job Vacancies," 5 Jan. 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

23 Sep 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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characteristic trappings or dress

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