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 Law enforcement is among the most heavily unionised sectors in America, and police unions occupy a unique position. The Economist, "Bands of blue Reining in police unions’ power in America," 11 July 2020 Milliman, now at 15800 W. Bluemound Road, will occupy 118,300 square feet in a six-story, 186,000-square-foot office building. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "One of two new office buildings planned for The Corridor in Brookfield lands Milliman's local office," 10 July 2020 Over in San Miguel de Allende, two excellent properties occupy the middle spots on the list. Lila Battis, Travel + Leisure, "The Top 5 City Hotels in Mexico," 8 July 2020 In the universe of human-animal relations, rabbits occupy a liminal space. Susan Orlean, The New Yorker, "The Rabbit Outbreak," 29 June 2020 The space in our lives that Darrell should occupy remains an emptiness, a yawning lack that even Skye, the most openhearted of young men, can’t help undervaluing. Donna Britt, Washington Post, "My brother was killed by police. Now I ask, who does George Floyd belong to?," 26 June 2020 Now, his demi-couture clothes on an array of black, brown and white models occupy a new space. Lauren Smart, Dallas News, "Artists made a Black Lives Matter statement with music, fashion and 3D projections at Dallas’ JFK Memorial," 17 June 2020 Here are the rules: Occupancy limited to 20% or less: For businesses with 20 or more employees, up to a fifth of workers can occupy the space, with 6-foot separation at all times. Roland Li, SFChronicle.com, "SF allowing some offices to reopen Monday: Here are the rules," 12 June 2020 The Memphis Grizzlies currently occupy the eighth and final spot for the playoffs in the Western Conference. oregonlive, "Trail Blazers’ Carmelo Anthony ‘still up in the air’ about playing in Orlando," 11 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for occupy

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for occupy

Last Updated

28 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Occupy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/occupy. Accessed 5 Aug. 2020.

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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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