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

As is growing more common in high-end residential buildings, the gym is lavishly appointed with the latest equipment and occupies its own glassed-in building on the plaza instead of being tucked in a windowless corner. Los Angeles Times, "Los Angeles apartment owners race to add luxury amenities," 11 Aug. 2019 Imperial Britain had interests across the globe with India occupying centre stage. Raghvendra Singh, Quartz India, "What Britain gained by partitioning the subcontinent into India and Pakistan," 9 Aug. 2019 Looking beyond homeowner occupied residences, steady market values in other areas could spell some property tax stability, or even relief. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "Property value increases mean homeowners in St. Paul’s Frogtown will pay roughly $300 more next year," 9 Aug. 2019 Guess who will be primarily occupying that role this season for the Buccaneers? San Diego Union-Tribune, "Fantasy Football 2019: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Preview," 9 Aug. 2019 Because of this, the game can keep dogs occupied for some time. Maddie Hiatt, House Beautiful, "The Ultimate Dog Toy For Your Genius Pup," 9 Aug. 2019 Editor’s note: The corporate headquarters of Google and Alphabet is located in Mountain View, Calif. and occupies land once inhabited by the Ohlone people. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Equinox Owner Under Fire for Trump Funder: raceAhead," 9 Aug. 2019 This was already orders of magnitude more than the 87 rounds fired during the 2014 Umbrella Movement, when protesters occupied streets across three districts for two months. Mary Hui, Quartz, "In Hong Kong, almost everyone, everywhere—including pets—is getting tear gassed," 8 Aug. 2019 Downtown Houston outperformed other local submarkets, with a gain of 230,640 square feet in occupied space. Katherine Feser, Houston Chronicle, "Houston among cities with highest office vacancy," 8 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

14 Aug 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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