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 Nordstrom department store will occupy the first seven floors of the West 57th Street building. Washington Post, "Supertall residential building will enter crowded NYC market," 17 Sep. 2019 The teams will occupy a 5,000-square-foot laboratory at 27 Drydock Ave. BostonGlobe.com, "Pillar, an early-stage venture capital firm in Boston, is starting a new laboratory in the seaport district for fledgling biotechs.," 14 Sep. 2019 No more than eight guests may occupy an extended-stay hotel room. Martin E. Comas, orlandosentinel.com, "Casselberry, popular with mom-and-pop motels before I-4 and Disney, looks at regulations to attract new hotels," 12 Sep. 2019 JuiceLand, represented by Chris Reyes and Tyler Trevino of Shop Cos., will occupy a 1,292-square-foot space. Katherine Feser, Houston Chronicle, "Retail wrap: Bellaire Town Center draws restaurants, fitness, beauty tenants," 6 Sep. 2019 Some have occupied several positions at once or adjusted their plans to be more mainstream. Akilah Johnson, ProPublica, "Medicare-for-All Is Not Medicare, and Not Really for All. So What Does It Actually Mean?," 6 Sep. 2019 Three different agents have occupied the top chair here since Robert Grant stepped down in 2012 after an almost eight-year run. Jason Meisner, chicagotribune.com, "Parting words from departing FBI boss in Chicago: ‘Our corruption program is extremely busy. Expect more to come’," 4 Sep. 2019 The school, which will occupy 75,000 square feet on the lower levels, will raise money from alumni and parents and as a nonprofit can sell tax-exempt bonds to partially pay for the project. J.k. Dineen, SFChronicle.com, "City ready to raise height limits, allowing more housing units near Market and Van Ness," 3 Sep. 2019 The restaurant will occupy a new building on the site of the former Jennifer’s Restaurant. cleveland.com, "Culver’s eyes early 2020 opening in Strongsville on old Jennifer’s Restaurant site," 30 Aug. 2019

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

6 Nov 2019

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
How to pronounce occupy (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for occupy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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