[ pree-ok-yuh-pey-shuh n, pree-ok- ]
/ priˌɒk yəˈpeɪ ʃən, ˌpri ɒk- /


the state of being preoccupied.
an act of preoccupying.

Nearby words

  1. prenuclear,
  2. prenup,
  3. prenuptial,
  4. prenuptial agreement,
  5. preoccupancy,
  6. preoccupied,
  7. preoccupy,
  8. preop,
  9. preoperative,
  10. preoperatively

Origin of preoccupation

1530–40; < Latin praeoccupātiōn- (stem of praeoccupātiō) a taking possession beforehand. See pre-, occupation

Related formso·ver·pre·oc·cu·pa·tion, nounself-pre·oc·cu·pa·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for preoccupation

British Dictionary definitions for preoccupation


preoccupancy (priːˈɒkjʊpənsɪ)

/ (priːˌɒkjʊˈpeɪʃən) /


the state of being preoccupied, esp mentally
something that holds the attention or preoccupies the mind
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 preoccupation



1550s, "state of occupying beforehand," from Latin praeoccupationem (nominative praeoccupatio) "a seizing beforehand, anticipation," noun of action from past participle stem of praeoccupare, from prae- "before" (see pre-) + occupare "seize" (see occupy). Meaning "mental absorption" is from 1854. Earlier its secondary sense was "bias, prejudice" (c.1600).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper