preoccupy

play
verb pre·oc·cu·py \-ˌpī\

Definition of preoccupy

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to engage or engross the interest or attention of beforehand or preferentially

  3. 2 :  to take possession of or fill beforehand or before another

Examples of preoccupy in a sentence

  1. The question of life after death has preoccupied many philosophers.

Origin and Etymology of preoccupy

Latin praeoccupare, literally, to seize in advance, from prae- + occupare to seize, occupy


First Known Use: 1567


PREOCCUPY Defined for English Language Learners

preoccupy

play
verb pre·oc·cu·py \-ˌpī\

Definition of preoccupy for English Language Learners

  • : to be thought about or worried about by (someone) very often or constantly



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up preoccupy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to bend the knee

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • snowflake-closeup
  • Which is a synonym of imprecate?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ