Definition of preoccupation in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌprēäkyəˈpāSH(ə)n/


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, deep thought, brown study, brooding;
abstraction, absentmindedness, distraction, forgetfulness, inattentiveness, woolgathering, daydreaming
1.1A 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;
passion, enthusiasm, hobbyhorse


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).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pre·oc·cu·pa·tion

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