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noun, plural oc·cu·pan·cies.
  1. the act, state, or condition of being or becoming a tenant or of living in or taking up quarters or space in or on something: Continued occupancy of the office depends on a rent reduction.
  2. the possession or tenancy of a property: You can have occupancy on June 1st.
  3. the act of taking possession, as of a property.
  4. the term during which one is an occupant.
  5. the condition of being occupied: Occupancy of the auditorium is limited to 1200 people.
  6. the use to which property is put.
  7. exercise of dominion over property that has no owner so as to become the legal owner.

Origin of occupancy

First recorded in 1590–1600; occup(ant) + -ancy
Related formsun·oc·cu·pan·cy, noun

Synonyms for occupancy

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

Examples from the Web for occupancy

Contemporary Examples of occupancy

Historical Examples of occupancy

  • Other people desired to sit in Alice's nook, but discovered her in occupancy.

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

  • Juarez is the only President of Mexico who has died in the occupancy of his office!


    Charles Reginald Enock

  • A way must be found to trick her into giving him the occupancy.

    A Son of the City

    Herman Gastrell Seely

  • Everything about it had been put in complete repair, and it was ready for occupancy.

    Down South

    Oliver Optic

  • The state-room was not fit for the occupancy of a decent person.

    Seek and Find

    Oliver Optic

British Dictionary definitions for occupancy


noun plural -cies
  1. the act of occupying; possession of a property
  2. law the possession and use of property by or without agreement and without any claim to ownership
  3. law the act of taking possession of unowned property, esp land, with the intent of thus acquiring ownership
  4. the condition or fact of being an occupant, esp a tenant
  5. the period of time during which one is an occupant, esp of property
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 occupancy

1590s, "condition of being an occupant;" from occupant + -cy. Meaning "fact of occupying" is from 1833; that of "proportion of available space that is occupied" is attested by 1974.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper