verb (occupies, occupying, occupied)[with object]
- 1Reside or have one’s place of business in (a building): the rented flat she occupies in HampsteadMore example sentences
inhabited, lived-in, tenanted, settledlive in, inhabit, be the tenant of, tenant, lodge in, be established/ensconced in, establish/ensconce oneself in, take up residence in, make one's home in, settle in, move into; people, populate, settle; Scottish & South African stay in
- Many catering businesses occupy old buildings and ventilation systems are often adapted to fit around the structure.
- Fewer than half the shops were occupied by the same businesses that they had housed 10 years ago.
- Only 30 of the road's 127 houses are occupied and five tenants live in the row likely to be demolished.
- 2Fill or take up (a space or time): two long windows occupied almost the whole of the end wallMore example sentences
- Fluid fills the space normally occupied by air in the middle ear.
- The congregation had to negotiate dangerous steep stairs and fill the space not occupied by a spinning wheel and furniture.
- These are hollow casts that partially fill the space once occupied by the original crystals of anhydrite.
- 2.1Be situated in or at (a position in a system or hierarchy): the Bank of England occupies a central position in the UK financial systemMore example sentences
- Spike slips down within the masculine hierarchy to occupy a significantly marginalized position.
- The PRC will undoubtedly be an important influence on an international system in which it occupies a rather anomalous position.
- Most firms are small, but are linked into networks in which a few large corporations (systems houses) occupy key positions.
- 2.2Hold (a position or job): a very different job from any that he had occupied beforeMore example sentences
- There is a Manning Clark Professor at ANU who, as I understand it, simply occupies Manning's old job.
- All the top jobs were occupied by whites before independence.
- With Merkel now occupying the chancellery, the circle is complete.
- 3Fill or preoccupy (the mind): her mind was occupied with alarming questionsMore example sentences
- That seems to be the key question occupying the minds of economists at the moment.
- That question was to occupy my mind for some years, before I could finally come up with something.
- These are the kind of pointless questions that occupy the mind when you have nothing better to do.
- 3.1Keep (someone) busy and active: Sarah occupied herself taking the coffee cups over to the sinkMore example sentences
- She hid her face and dashed past them while Jennifer was busy occupying Aaron.
- At least finding this Daniel Mason person would occupy him for a while when he got back.
- For the next few hours, the remaining soldiers were occupied by burying those of their group that had been killed by the rogues.
- 4Take control of (a place, especially a country) by military conquest or settlement: Syria was occupied by France under a League of Nations mandateMore example sentences
- The US military will continue to occupy the country, exercising powers amounting to martial law.
- How can you be a sovereign nation while your country is occupied by the military of another nation?
- In the countries occupied by the Red Army at that time, vicious purges took place against religious leaders of all faiths.
- 4.1Enter and stay in (a building) without authority and often forcibly, especially as a form of protest: the workers occupied the factoryMore example sentences
- Workers occupied the factory in protest over the dismissal of 250 of the company's 500-strong workforce.
- As part of their protest, workers occupied the factory roof.
- The workers occupied the factory after a protest stoppage on January 26 in support of a 300 rupees pay increase owing to them since last year.
Middle English: formed irregularly from Old French occuper, from Latin occupare 'seize'. A now obsolete vulgar sense 'have sexual relations with' seems to have led to the general avoidance of the word in the 17th and most of the 18th century.