occupy

verb
oc·​cu·​py | \ ˈä-kyə-ˌpī How to pronounce occupy (audio) \
occupied; occupying

Definition of occupy

transitive verb

1 : to engage the attention or energies of They occupied themselves with video games.
2a : to take up (a place or extent in space) this chair is occupied the fireplace will occupy this corner of the room
b : to take or fill (an extent in time) the hobby occupies all of my free time
3a : to take or hold possession or control of enemy troops occupied the ridge
b : to fill or perform the functions of (an office or position) will occupy the newly created office of chancellorCurrent Biography
4 : to reside in as an owner or tenant occupies an apartment on a two-year lease

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Other Words from occupy

occupier \ ˈä-​kyə-​ˌpī(-​ə)r How to pronounce occupier (audio) \ noun

Examples of occupy in a Sentence

They have occupied the apartment for three years. She occupies the house that her grandfather built 50 years ago. They own another house that they occupy only three months out of the year. They occupy the room next to ours. This region was once almost completely occupied by forests. Their house occupies a beautiful spot next to the ocean. Much of our time is occupied by answering questions from our customers. These questions have continued to occupy her mind.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Newer has its benefits: being the first to occupy; getting the latest in building standards and design trends. Anchorage Daily News, "The age of your house isn’t just about the year it was built. Here’s why that’s important when you’re selling.," 22 June 2018 The Slidell restaurant will take over the space in the Fremaux Center previously occupied by Felipe's Mexican Taqueria, which closed in October of 2017 in order to focus efforts on its New Orleans and Florida markets. Kim Chatelain, NOLA.com, "Lost Cajun restaurant - born in Colorado - finds a home in Slidell," 5 June 2018 The property opened in October and is 45 percent occupied. John-john Williams Iv, Howard County Times, "Luxury apartments proliferate across Howard County," 5 June 2018 Of that total, $17.1 million was paid to the campaigns of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Ben Carson as reimbursements for seats occupied by Secret Service agents onboard campaign charter flights. Rene Marsh, CNN, "First on CNN: US Secret Service overpaid presidential campaigns $4 million for plane travel," 31 May 2018 On an ever dirtying planet, these folks had the fortune to occupy a lovely sliver. Chris Colin, Outside Online, "Drawing a Line in the Sand Over River Rights," 30 May 2018 Since November of 2018, your networks have grown as Jupiter (the planet of expansion) has occupied your house of community. Randon Rosenbohm, Allure, "What April’s Aquarius Horoscope Means for You," 31 Mar. 2019 Despite occupying a promising timeslot behind The Voice in its first season, Timeless routinely lost a huge chunk of the reality show’s lead-in viewership. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Why more TV shows should do year-end Christmas specials," 23 Dec. 2018 Matches take place in rectangular stages of different sizes, with both characters occupying the same 2D plane like in most 2D fighting games. Michael Moore, The Verge, "Lethal League Blaze turns handball into a stylish fighting game," 9 Dec. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for occupy

Middle English occupien "to take possession of, hold, inhabit, take up space in, fill, keep (oneself) busy," borrowed from Anglo-French occuper, occupier, borrowed from Latin occupāre "to grasp, appropriate to oneself, take possession of, fill up (space, a position), forestall," from oc-, assimilated variant of ob- ob- + -cupāre, intensive derivative of capere "to take, seize, catch" — more at heave entry 1

Note: The source of the -i- in Anglo-French occupier and Middle English occupien, retained in Modern English, is unclear, as continental French has only occuper. The verb occupy, common in later Middle and early Modern English, was very infrequently used in the 17th and first two thirds of the 18th century; it has been suggested that this was due to the sense "to have sexual intercourse with (a woman)," which impinged by connotation on the less charged meanings and led to a taboo on any use of the word. When the socially unacceptable sense fell out of circulation occupy once more became a generally used word.

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Statistics for occupy

Last Updated

8 May 2019

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Time Traveler for occupy

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

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More Definitions for occupy

occupy

verb

English Language Learners Definition of occupy

somewhat formal : to live in (a house, apartment, etc.)
: to fill or be in (a place or space)
: to fill or use (an amount of time)

occupy

verb
oc·​cu·​py | \ ˈä-kyə-ˌpī How to pronounce occupy (audio) \
occupied; occupying

Kids Definition of occupy

1 : to fill up (an extent of time or space) Sports occupy our spare time. A liter of water occupies 1000 cubic centimeters of space.
2 : to take up the attention or energies of Reading occupied me most of the summer.
3 : to live in as an owner or tenant Her sisters occupied the house for three years.
4 : to take or hold possession of Enemy troops occupied the town.
5 : to perform the functions of She occupies a position of authority.

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More from Merriam-Webster on occupy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with occupy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for occupy

Spanish Central: Translation of occupy

Nglish: Translation of occupy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of occupy for Arabic Speakers

Comments on occupy

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