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preoccupy

[pree-ok-yuh-pahy]
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verb (used with object), pre·oc·cu·pied, pre·oc·cu·py·ing.
  1. to absorb or engross to the exclusion of other things.
  2. to occupy beforehand or before others.
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Origin of preoccupy

First recorded in 1560–70; pre- + occupy
Related formspre·oc·cu·pi·er, nouno·ver·pre·oc·cu·py, verb (used with object), o·ver·pre·oc·cu·pied, o·ver·pre·oc·cu·py·ing.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for preoccupy

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • To preoccupy this ground, therefore, seemed an important step.

    Xerxes

    Jacob Abbott

  • And certainly he had enough to excite and preoccupy him just now.

    The Clique of Gold

    Emile Gaboriau

  • We should forget our successes if they cause pride or preoccupy the mind.

  • Other friends would come in and preoccupy her mind and heart.

    The Major

    Ralph Connor

  • We should not preoccupy the audience with our own personality.


British Dictionary definitions for preoccupy

preoccupy

verb -pies, -pying or -pied (tr)
  1. to engross the thoughts or mind of
  2. to occupy before or in advance of another
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Word Origin

C16: from Latin praeoccupāre to capture in advance, from prae before + occupāre to seize, take possession of
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

Word Origin and History for preoccupy

v.

1560s, from pre- + occupy. Related: Preoccupied; preoccupying.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper