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

This preoccupation with the law could ring somewhat false to voters given Stella’s personal record. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "A criminal record won’t prevent Danielle Stella’s bid for Ilhan Omar’s congressional seat," 28 July 2019 While all HCPs are different, the majority display four primary characteristics: all-or-nothing thinking, intense or unmanaged emotions, extreme behavior or threats, and a preoccupation with blaming others. Steven P. Dinkin, San Diego Union-Tribune, "High-conflict personalities: Navigating the maze," 28 July 2019 Clearly, there is a strong chance that satisfying the needs of Nigeria would be the chief preoccupation of monetary policy within the region. Cheikh Ahmed Bamba Diagne, Quartz Africa, "How Francophone Africa’s France-backed CFA franc works and why it’s controversial," 2 Aug. 2019 In theory, opening the floor up to vigorous debate on one of the primary foreign policy preoccupations of the present day should have been easy. Heather Souvaine Horn, The New Republic, "Let’s Get Into a Fight About Foreign Policy," 1 Aug. 2019 First, by Life magazine, whose report on poverty in Latin America was motivated not by investigating inequity, but by the Cold War preoccupation that substandard living conditions could generate communists. Los Angeles Times, "Flavio da Silva, photographed as a boy in Brazil’s favelas, on the images that outraged," 19 July 2019 Some of the time identity seems to be socially constructed: hence the preoccupation with gender fluidity, for example. The Economist, "The centre cannot hold - the failure of Change UK and the atrophying of political thought," 19 June 2019 But Holmes' gender also likely looms large in the enduring pop cultural preoccupation with Theranos. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Why Are We All So Bloody Obsessed with Elizabeth Holmes and the Theranos Scandal?," 19 Mar. 2019 Bassani’s life, in the end, revolved around the same preoccupations as the novels, with the same passions and the same uncertainties, which, no doubt, is why The Novel of Ferrara is so captivating. Tim Parks, Harper's magazine, "Behind the High Walls," 10 Feb. 2019

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

6 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for preoccupation

The first known use of preoccupation was in 1572

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More Definitions for preoccupation



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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Comments on preoccupation

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readily or continually undergoing change

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