- completely engrossed in thought; absorbed.
- previously occupied; taken; filled.
- Biology. already used as a name for some species, genus, etc., and not available as a designation for any other.
Origin of preoccupied
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- to absorb or engross to the exclusion of other things.
- to occupy beforehand or before others.
Origin of preoccupy
Examples from the Web for preoccupied
Your fiction is preoccupied with the past—even the contemporary stories have an aura of looking backward.Tony Earley's Imaginary Friends
September 2, 2014
Now, few filmmakers are as preoccupied with time as Richard Linklater.The Making of ‘Boyhood’: Richard Linklater’s 12-Year Journey to Create An American Masterpiece
July 10, 2014
Living vicariously through his teammates was better than being home, preoccupied each day with his eroding strength.The Stacks: The Day Lou Gehrig Delivered Baseball’s Gettysburg Address
July 4, 2014
Preoccupied with panegyrizing the specialness of India, they slept through the breakthrough of Hindu nationalism.India’s Newest State Telangana Is Bosnia Redux
March 22, 2014
Meanwhile, Washington has been preoccupied with all-consuming battles over debt ceilings and sequestration.Congress Cooperates, Obama Pushes Hard, and Closing Gitmo Has a Chance
December 12, 2013
His mind had been so preoccupied that he had forgotten about the ditch.In the Midst of Alarms
But Eli ate sparingly, and with a preoccupied and solemn look.Meadow Grass
"She hasn't any tolerance in her, anyhow," and he was grave and preoccupied all through dinner.Hetty's Strange History
He'll never benefit himself in that way, patient and preoccupied workman.
Long, as if the person knocking were preoccupied in mind, and forgot to leave off.
- engrossed or absorbed in something, esp one's own thoughts
- already or previously occupied
- biology (of a taxonomic name) already used to designate a genus, species, etc
- to engross the thoughts or mind of
- to occupy before or in advance of another
Word Origin and History for preoccupied
"absorbed in thought," 1823, past participle adjective from preoccupy (v.). Earlier it meant "occupied in advance."