pre·​oc·​cu·​pa·​tion | \ (ˌ)prē-ˌä-kyə-ˈpā-shən How to pronounce preoccupation (audio) \

Definition of preoccupation

1 : an act of preoccupying : the state of being preoccupied
2a : extreme or excessive concern with something
b : something that preoccupies one

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Examples of preoccupation in a Sentence

We need to better understand the problems and preoccupations of our clients. the future entomologist's preoccupation with insects from a very early age

Recent Examples on the Web

Mortality was a perennial preoccupation, echoed in images of skulls, suicides and electric chairs. Brenda Cronin, WSJ, "Warhol Takes New York, Again," 26 Oct. 2018 Meanwhile, the morbid preoccupations of Lil Peep and his peers track all too closely with urgent social realities like the prescription-drug epidemic and the rising rate of suicide among young people. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "What Linkin Park Gave to Pop Music," 25 June 2018 His poems speak without ornament of everyday life, not the preoccupations of the academy. Danny Heitman, The Christian Science Monitor, "'Kindest Regards' serves up the quietly subversive poetry of Ted Kooser," 29 May 2018 Explaining this transformation is thus one of the great preoccupations of global history. Heather Souvaine Horn, The New Republic, "A System in Denial," 16 Apr. 2018 In them Foucault hoped to explain how sexuality became an object of scientific study and a subject of moral preoccupation. Peter Libbey, New York Times, "Michel Foucault’s Unfinished Book Published in France," 8 Feb. 2018 The interconnection of art and politics remains a preoccupation for the couple. Rob Haskell, Vogue, "How America Ferrera Is Inspiring Celebrities to Get Political," 11 Feb. 2019 Changing diapers becomes a fledgling mother's new preoccupation and anything that complicates this already hard-to-manage at times task is simply too much. Naomi Williamson, Woman's Day, "10 Things Never to Buy a New Mom," 23 July 2014 For Sperling, a preoccupation with the inner workings of the brain is a family affair. Joshua Kendall,, "Can this doctor figure out how to stop Alzheimer’s before it starts?," 11 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'preoccupation.' 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 preoccupation

1572, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for preoccupation

Last Updated

31 May 2019

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Time Traveler for preoccupation

The first known use of preoccupation was in 1572

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English Language Learners Definition of preoccupation

: a state in which you give all your attention to something
: something that you give all or most of your attention to

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