View synonyms for preoccupied


[ pree-ok-yuh-pahyd ]


  1. completely engrossed in thought; absorbed.

    Synonyms: busy

  2. previously occupied; taken; filled.
  3. Biology. already used as a name for some species, genus, etc., and not available as a designation for any other.


/ priːˈɒkjʊˌpaɪd /


  1. engrossed or absorbed in something, esp one's own thoughts
  2. already or previously occupied
  3. biology (of a taxonomic name) already used to designate a genus, species, etc

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Other Words From

  • pre·occu·piedly adverb
  • pre·occu·piedness noun
  • unpre·occu·pied adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of preoccupied1

First recorded in 1835–45; preoccupy + -ed 2

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Example Sentences

Zoologist Desmond Morris, on the other hand, was initially more preoccupied with sex than violence or male-male bonding.

Generations of men would have the culture believe that they’re far too preoccupied with business, government, technology and other so-called serious pursuits to involve themselves with the flourishes of fashion.

Later, as the scope of his research widened, he became more and more preoccupied with the question of biodiversity on Earth and the human impact on it.

Kids are very preoccupied about their appearance at this age, and there’s a lot of pressure to have peer approval, so there are risks there.

I’m very much preoccupied with the issue of race and ethnicity and discrimination and how that impacts health outcomes and mental health outcomes among underserved populations.

As he tried to make his way through a crowd of mourners late last month, he looked preoccupied and even disoriented.

Foxx is hopeful that young people are evolving past the point of being preoccupied with race.

Your fiction is preoccupied with the past—even the contemporary stories have an aura of looking backward.

Now, few filmmakers are as preoccupied with time as Richard Linklater.

Living vicariously through his teammates was better than being home, preoccupied each day with his eroding strength.

She was still preoccupied, still she seemed to see Hamza running beside her towards the mountains, praying among the rocks.

She was like a woman who is preoccupied with something, and perhaps annoyed by an unwelcome guest.

There was something very strange and preoccupied in his movements, Beardsley thought, more than a mere tiredness.

They swarmed with people of all nationalities, who looked very much preoccupied, and as if in search of something.

For weeks thereafter he would be like the ghost of a man in the house, haggard and silent and preoccupied.


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