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[ok-yuh-puh nt] /ˈɒk yə pənt/
a person, family, group, or organization that lives in, occupies, or has quarters or space in or on something:
the occupant of a taxicab; the occupants of the building.
a tenant of a house, estate, office, etc.; resident.
  1. an owner through occupancy.
  2. one who is in actual possession.
Origin of occupant
1590-1600; < Middle French occupant, present participle of occuper. See occupy, -ant
Related forms
nonoccupant, noun
preoccupant, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for occupant
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The pole and the canopy of the hammock tangled inextricably its occupant.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • Was the occupant a rat or a skunk, and if so, what was he going to do?

    A Woman Tenderfoot Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson
  • Neither of the two had been there since its present occupant had had possession of it.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • The coffee-room had no other occupant, that forenoon, than the gentleman in brown.

    A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens
  • He had, perhaps, a trifle less respect for the room and its occupant.

    Roden's Corner Henry Seton Merriman
British Dictionary definitions for occupant


a person, thing, etc, holding a position or place
(law) a person who has possession of something, esp an estate, house, etc; tenant
(law) a person who acquires by occupancy the title to something previously without an owner
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for occupant

1590s, "one who takes possession of something having no owner," from Middle French occupant (15c.) or directly from Latin occupantem (nominative occupans), present participle of occupare "to take possession of" (see occupy). Earlier noun form was ocupier (early 14c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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