[ ok-yuh-pahy ]
See synonyms for: occupyoccupiedoccupyingoccupier on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object),oc·cu·pied, oc·cu·py·ing.
  1. to take or fill up (space, time, etc.): I occupied my evenings reading novels.

  2. to engage or employ the mind, energy, or attention of: Occupy the children with a game while I prepare dinner.

  1. to be a resident or tenant of; dwell in: We occupied the same house for 20 years.

  2. to hold (a position, office, etc.).

  3. to take possession and control of (a place), as by military invasion.

  4. Usually Occupy . to participate in a protest about (a social or political issue), as by taking possession or control of buildings or public places that are symbolic of the issue: Let’s Occupy our voting rights!The Occupy Wall Street movement of late 2011 was a protest against economic inequality.

verb (used without object),oc·cu·pied, oc·cu·py·ing.
  1. to take or hold possession.

  2. Usually Occupy . to participate in a protest about a social or political issue.

  1. Usually Occupy . of or relating to a protest about a social or political issue, as in Occupy movement,Occupy protest, and Occupy candidate:the Occupy movement for social justice.

Origin of occupy

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English occupien, from Middle French occuper, from Latin occupāre “to seize, take hold, take up, make one's own,” equivalent to oc- oc- + -cup-, combining form of capere “to take, seize” + -āre infinitive suffix

synonym study For occupy

1, 3-5. See have.

Other words for occupy

Other words from occupy

  • oc·cu·pi·a·ble, adjective
  • oc·cu·pi·er, noun
  • mis·oc·cu·py, verb, mis·oc·cu·pied, mis·oc·cu·py·ing.
  • re·oc·cu·py, verb (used with object), re·oc·cu·pied, re·oc·cu·py·ing.

Words Nearby occupy

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use occupy in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for occupy


/ (ˈɒkjʊˌpaɪ) /

verb-pies, -pying or -pied (tr)
  1. to live or be established in (a house, flat, office, etc)

  2. (often passive) to keep (a person) busy or engrossed; engage the attention of

  1. (often passive) to take up (a certain amount of time or space)

  2. to take and hold possession of, esp as a demonstration: students occupied the college buildings

  3. to fill or hold (a position or rank)

Origin of occupy

C14: from Old French occuper, from Latin occupāre to seize hold of, from ob- (intensive) + capere to take

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