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preoccupation Line breaks: pre|occu¦pa¦tion
Pronunciation: /prɪˌɒkjʊˈpeɪʃ(ə)n/

Definition of preoccupation in English:


[mass noun]
1The state or condition of being preoccupied or engrossed with something: his preoccupation with politics
More example sentences
  • The real escalation is in our narcissistic preoccupation with ourselves.
  • Moreover, Lyly's preoccupation with mistaken identity may have influenced Shakespeare.
  • The saving grace of the past few days has been my preoccupation with a new geeky toy, a DVD recorder.
pensiveness, concentration, engrossment, absorption, self-absorption, musing, thinking, thinking of other things, deep thought, brown study, brooding;
1.1 [count noun] A subject or matter that engrosses someone: their main preoccupation was how to feed their families
More example sentences
  • Man Listening To Disc and Marginalia are creepily accurate portrayals of aspects of my two main preoccupations.
  • Melburnians tend to have two main preoccupations, the two S's: sport and Sydney.
  • Much more interesting is the fact that Larkin waited so confidently for his methods and preoccupations to come into focus.
obsession, concern, fixation;
fascination, passion, enthusiasm, hobby horse, pet subject, compulsion, fetish, complex, neurosis, mania;
French idée fixe
informal bee in one's bonnet, hang-up, thing, bug


Late 16th century (first used in rhetoric in the sense 'anticipating and meeting objections beforehand'): from Latin praeoccupatio(n-), from praeoccupare 'seize beforehand' (see preoccupy).

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