occupy

verb
oc·​cu·​py | \ ˈä-kyə-ˌpī \
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 \ 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

The other thing about this is that, especially because GOP donor class bills will stand no chance of passing, the political agenda may be even more occupied by immigration issues since that’s what Trump likes to talk about. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "What’s at stake in Tuesday’s elections," 5 Nov. 2018 These losses ensure that six of the seven County Council seats will be occupied by new members after November’s general election. Talia Richman, baltimoresun.com, "Anne Arundel County Council eyes proposals to limit executive's appointment power," 3 July 2018 Video/Photo Illustration: Heather Seidel/The Wall Street Journal Amazon has announced plans to occupy 4 million to 8 million square feet of office space in the New York City area. Douglas Macmillan, WSJ, "Google Details Major New York Expansion," 17 Dec. 2018 Gillum, a progressive aiming to occupy the Governor’s mansion in Florida, previously served as Tallahassee’s mayor. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Why mayors and urban leaders will have a bigger impact in 2018 elections," 21 Sep. 2018 Part of that was learning that I’m allowed to take up physical space, and accepting that no one was ever going to give me explicit permission to occupy that space. Sofia Barrett-ibarria, SELF, "Posting Naked Pictures on the Internet Helps Me Accept My Body for What It Is: My Body," 2 Aug. 2018 That would help Mr Scholz, who seems to be preparing to occupy her territory by styling himself as the natural heir to her low-key, centrist style of politics. The Economist, "An interview with Germany’s finance minister, Olaf Scholz," 12 July 2018 Still, as a draw for out-of-state students presently paying their own tuition and as a sport conducive to gender equity considerations, ice hockey would seem to occupy a niche worth nurturing at U of L. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Ice hockey on campus? University of Louisville has 'preliminary' chat," 10 July 2018 Putin responded by sending Russian troops and paramilitaries to occupy large portions of the country, including its industrial rust belt in the east. Simon Shuster, Time, "Trump's Envoy to Ukraine Urges U.S. Not to Forget Russia's War as Putin Summit Looms," 9 July 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

16 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

: 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 \
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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