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

Meanwhile, preschoolers who normally would attend Hilton will move into a 7,120-square-foot Blossom Hill building that has been occupied by South Suburban Montessori School, according to Magyar and Brecksville Mayor Jerry Hruby. Bob Sandrick, cleveland.com, "Brecksville-Broadview Heights Schools, City of Brecksville sign lease for preschool building at Blossom Hill," 11 June 2019 Inverlad’s senior real estate vice president Chance Gordy has promised existing businesses that only locally owned businesses, not national chains, will occupy the retail space in The Yard. Caroline Glenn, orlandosentinel.com, "Ivanhoe Village merchants ‘excited and terrified’ to see how new apartments change the neighborhood," 7 June 2019 And the negative space that mother and daughter occupy in each other’s lives looms large. Adrienne Green, The Atlantic, "The Costs of Going After Love," 7 June 2019 Others knock, particularly if it has been occupied for an unusually long time. Dear Abby, oregonlive.com, "Dear Abby: Ill-fitting dentures lead to issues in love life," 6 June 2019 Know how long the space has been occupied or vacant. Eric Whitmer, House Beautiful, "What You Should Know Before Buying A Mid-Century Modern Home," 5 Apr. 2019 Imagine two electrons that were entangled such that if a measurement identifies the first electron in one position around the circle, the other must occupy a position directly across the circle from it. Quanta Magazine, "The Universe’s Ultimate Complexity Revealed by Simple Quantum Games," 5 Mar. 2019 Local powerhouses such as Roger Bacon and Purcell never finished the season in the top slot, which was habitually occupied by teams from the northeast part of the state. Mark Schmetzer, Cincinnati.com, "Glory Days: Here's the best Cincinnati high school football teams from the 1970s," 26 June 2018 Outside of a few dense clusters in uptown, SouthPark and Ballantyne, few buildings rise above five or six stories in Charlotte, and much of the city's nearly 300 square miles is occupied by single-family houses. Ely Portillo, charlotteobserver, "New, 20-story tower coming outside uptown Charlotte, despite neighborhood objections," 18 June 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

19 Jun 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

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