[ok-yuh-puh nt]


a person, family, group, or organization that lives in, occupies, or has quarters or space in or on something: the occupant of a taxicab; the occupants of the building.
a tenant of a house, estate, office, etc.; resident.
  1. an owner through occupancy.
  2. one who is in actual possession.

Origin of occupant

1590–1600; < Middle French occupant, present participle of occuper. See occupy, -ant
Related formsnon·oc·cu·pant, nounpre·oc·cu·pant, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for occupant

Contemporary Examples of occupant

Historical Examples of occupant

  • The pole and the canopy of the hammock tangled inextricably its occupant.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • Was the occupant a rat or a skunk, and if so, what was he going to do?

    A Woman Tenderfoot

    Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson

  • Neither of the two had been there since its present occupant had had possession of it.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • The coffee-room had no other occupant, that forenoon, than the gentleman in brown.

    A Tale of Two Cities

    Charles Dickens

  • He had, perhaps, a trifle less respect for the room and its occupant.

    Roden's Corner

    Henry Seton Merriman

British Dictionary definitions for occupant



a person, thing, etc, holding a position or place
law a person who has possession of something, esp an estate, house, etc; tenant
law a person who acquires by occupancy the title to something previously without an owner
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 occupant

1590s, "one who takes possession of something having no owner," from Middle French occupant (15c.) or directly from Latin occupantem (nominative occupans), present participle of occupare "to take possession of" (see occupy). Earlier noun form was ocupier (early 14c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper