Share this entry

Share this page

preoccupy

Syllabification: pre·oc·cu·py
Pronunciation: /prēˈäkyəˌpī
 
/

Definition of preoccupy in English:

verb (preoccupies, preoccupying, preoccupied)

[with object]
(Of a matter or subject) dominate or engross the mind of (someone) to the exclusion of other thoughts: his mother was preoccupied with paying the bills (as adjective preoccupied) she seemed a bit preoccupied
More example sentences
  • Although he makes provision for his soul, it is only in general terms and he is not preoccupied with the matter.
  • Why do sectarian issues so preoccupy these young people?
  • The magistrate was preoccupied with other matters and was not listening closely.
Synonyms
obsessed, concerned, absorbed, engrossed, intent, involved, wrapped up
lost/deep in thought, in a brown study, pensive, absentminded, distracted, abstracted
engross, concern, absorb, take up someone's attention, distract, obsess, occupy, prey on someone's mind

Origin

mid 16th century: from pre- + occupy, suggested by Latin praeoccupare 'seize beforehand'.

Definition of preoccupy in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day emulous
Pronunciation: ˈɛmjʊləs
adjective
seeking to emulate someone or something