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

Other Words from occupy

occupier \ ˈä-​kyə-​ˌpī(-​ə)r How to pronounce occupy (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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web But the office tenants occupy only 42% of the space. John Tuohy, The Indianapolis Star, 4 Aug. 2022 These groups occupy roughly a third of the world’s remaining undeveloped forest lands. Jacquie Mcnish, WSJ, 28 July 2022 Snow leopards occupy an outsized place in the human imagination. Ben Ayers, Outside Online, 27 July 2022 Attacks on books occupy a special place among the signposts of philistinism and anti-democratic suppression. Laura Blasey, Los Angeles Times, 27 July 2022 Three en suite bedrooms occupy the second floor, along with a second half bath. New York Times, 20 July 2022 Famous pets occupy a unique niche in parasocial interactions. Elliot Lewis, NBC News, 19 July 2022 Burgess Shale animals occupy a huge space in the public imagination, fueled by iconic science writer Stephen Jay Gould’s 1989 book Wonderful Life. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 18 July 2022 About 150 employees occupy Servier’s office on the sixth floor of 200 Pier Four Boulevard, overlooking Boston Harbor and the Seaport World Trade Center. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 18 July 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for occupy

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near occupy

occupiable

occupy

occur

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Statistics for occupy

Last Updated

10 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Occupy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/occupy. Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for occupy

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on occupy

Nglish: Translation of occupy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of occupy for Arabic Speakers

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