- to dominate or preoccupy the thoughts, feelings, or desires of (a person); beset, trouble, or haunt persistently or abnormally: Suspicion obsessed him.
- to think about something unceasingly or persistently; dwell obsessively upon something.
Origin of obsess
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for obsess
The professor known as Wittgenstein (and Iyer) obsess about the notion of thought itself on almost every page.Lars Iyer’s ‘Wittgenstein Jr.’ Plumbs the Deep Fun of Philosophical Fiction
October 1, 2014
Do we obsess over celebrities because we want to be perfect?
Or do we want to be perfect because we obsess over celebrities?
If all goes as planned, Alig soon will face his fans, those who blog about him, follow his tweets, and obsess over Party Monster.The Party Monster Lives For the Applause: Michael Alig’s Second Act
February 28, 2014
I think we obsess over a lot of the same details in a situation.‘Portlandia’ Duo Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein Discuss the Secrets to the Cult Show’s Success
February 27, 2014
But my fears that their mental suggestions might obsess her were baseless.It Happened in Egypt
C. N. Williamson
The idea to sell out began to obsess him, and in the end he sold.Colorado Jim
A dangerous thought had come to him and begun to obsess his mind.Aladdin of London
Sir Max Pemberton
He could not quite account for this sudden shadow which seemed to obsess the room.The Woman Gives
What are all the torments of war compared to the thoughts that obsess us night and day?Above the Battle
- (tr; when passive, foll by with or by) to preoccupy completely; haunt
- (intr; usually foll by on or over) to worry neurotically or obsessively; brood
Word Origin and History for obsess
c.1500, "to besiege," from Latin obsessus, past participle of obsidere "watch closely; besiege, occupy; stay, remain, abide" literally "sit opposite to," from ob "against" (see ob-) + sedere "sit" (see sedentary). Of evil spirits, "to haunt," from 1530s. Psychological sense is 20c. Related: Obsessed; obsessing.