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obsess

[uhb-ses]
verb (used with object)
  1. to dominate or preoccupy the thoughts, feelings, or desires of (a person); beset, trouble, or haunt persistently or abnormally: Suspicion obsessed him.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to think about something unceasingly or persistently; dwell obsessively upon something.
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Origin of obsess

1495–1505; < Latin obsessus, past participle of obsidēre to occupy, frequent, besiege, equivalent to ob- ob- + -sid(ēre) combining form of sedēre to sit1
Related formsob·sess·ing·ly, adverbob·ses·sor, noun
Can be confusedabscess obsess

Synonyms for obsess

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for obsesses

grip, beset, consume, haunt, harass, torment, engross, dominate, infatuate, hold, possess

Examples from the Web for obsesses

Contemporary Examples of obsesses

Historical Examples of obsesses


British Dictionary definitions for obsesses

obsess

verb
  1. (tr; when passive, foll by with or by) to preoccupy completely; haunt
  2. (intr; usually foll by on or over) to worry neurotically or obsessively; brood
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Word Origin for obsess

C16: from Latin obsessus besieged, past participle of obsidēre, from ob- in front of + sedēre to sit
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 obsesses

obsess

v.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper