- to take or fill up (space, time, etc.): I occupied my evenings reading novels.
- to engage or employ the mind, energy, or attention of: Occupy the children with a game while I prepare dinner.
- to be a resident or tenant of; dwell in: We occupied the same house for 20 years.
- to hold (a position, office, etc.).
- to take possession and control of (a place), as by military invasion.
- (usually initial capital letter) to participate in a protest about (a social or political issue), as by taking possession or control of buildings or public places that are symbolic of the issue: Let’s Occupy our voting rights! The Occupy Wall Street movement of late 2011 was a protest against economic inequality.
- to take or hold possession.
- (usually initial capital letter) to participate in a protest about a social or political issue.
- (usually initial capital letter) of or relating to a protest about a social or political issue, as in Occupy movement; Occupy protest; Occupy candidate: the Occupy movement for social justice.
Origin of occupy
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for occupying
Hmm, who are these people standing in front of the machines at the gym, neither occupying them nor not occupying them?How to Survive the New Year ‘Gympocalypse’
January 6, 2015
Once, when occupying a cell in near a phone, I saw the suicide prevention protocols in action.A Million Ways to Die in Prison
December 8, 2014
After Germany surrendered, Bennett was stationed there as part of the Allied occupying force.Tony Bennett’s Nazi Hunting Past Is Just One Reason He’s the Greatest Living American
September 25, 2014
They were close to occupying Mariupol, but they depend on Putin, who demonstrated his political will to stop the war.Putin's 'Peace' In Ukraine
September 5, 2014
Here, as elsewhere in the east, armed separatists are occupying administrative buildings near parks and playgrounds.The Sky Explodes Over Luhansk, and Kiev Blames the Separatists
June 4, 2014
The woman had consented to our occupying an out-house, and had agreed to buy the provisions.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
It was a beautiful morning, and Gloria and the cat were occupying the broad piazza.Gloria and Treeless Street
Annie Hamilton Donnell
Will this be excuse enough for occupying a few sentences with the rhyming of this poem?A Dish Of Orts
The subgleba broad, occupying about one-third of the cavity.The Mushroom, Edible and Otherwise
M. E. Hard
Instead of occupying the rear seat she climbed to that beside me.Kent Knowles: Quahaug
Joseph C. Lincoln
- to live or be established in (a house, flat, office, etc)
- (often passive) to keep (a person) busy or engrossed; engage the attention of
- (often passive) to take up (a certain amount of time or space)
- to take and hold possession of, esp as a demonstrationstudents occupied the college buildings
- to fill or hold (a position or rank)
Word Origin and History for occupying
mid-14c., "to take possession of," also "to take up space or time, employ (someone)," irregularly borrowed from Old French occuper "occupy (a person or place), hold, seize" (13c.) or directly from Latin occupare "take over, seize, take into possession, possess, occupy," from ob "over" (see ob-) + intensive form of capere "to grasp, seize" (see capable). The final syllable of the English word is difficult to explain, but it is as old as the record; perhaps from a modification made in Anglo-French. During 16c.-17c. a common euphemism for "have sexual intercourse with" (sense attested from early 15c.), which caused it to fall from polite usage.
"A captaine? Gods light these villaines wil make the word as odious as the word occupy, which was an excellent good worde before it was il sorted." [Doll Tearsheet in "2 Henry IV"]
Related: Occupied; occupying.