pre·​oc·​cu·​pa·​tion (ˌ)prē-ˌä-kyə-ˈpā-shən How to pronounce preoccupation (audio)
: an act of preoccupying : the state of being preoccupied
: extreme or excessive concern with something
: something that preoccupies one

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 Juanita Constible, the senior climate and health advocate at the Natural Resources Defense Council, sees these developments as a welcome correction to the notion that climate concerns are mainly an elite preoccupation. Time, 6 July 2023 Toggling between the perspective of a father and a daughter, fittingly, the film explores O’Connor’s preoccupations, prose, and creative process. Larisha Paul, Rolling Stone, 12 Sep. 2023 What these seeming opposites have in common is an extreme preoccupation with themselves. Diana Kwon, Scientific American, 15 Aug. 2023 And although we may be biased due to our preoccupation with all things The Row, the Ginza sandal was undoubtedly the commencement of the flip-flop resurgence and has since been carried on by many. Cortne Bonilla, Vogue, 7 Aug. 2023 One of the designer’s longest material preoccupations has been with terra-cotta, a medium he’s revisited throughout his career. Curbed, 5 June 2023 Subsequent versions of the DSM therefore placed even more weight on grandiose features—such as an exaggerated sense of self-importance, a preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success and power, an excessive need for admiration and a lack of empathy. Diana Kwon, Scientific American, 15 Aug. 2023 The American consciousness can’t seem to shake its preoccupation with college. Alexander Hughes, National Review, 13 Aug. 2023 The new collection includes a couple of excellent stories about dreamy, moony, self-conscious adolescents, another of Millhauser’s preoccupations. Charles McGrath, The New Yorker, 7 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'preoccupation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1572, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of preoccupation was in 1572

Dictionary Entries Near preoccupation

Cite this Entry

“Preoccupation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

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