American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To occupy completely the mind or attention of; engross. See Synonyms at monopolize.
- v. To occupy or take possession of in advance or before another.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To occupy before others; take possession of or appropriate for use in advance of others.
- To fill beforehand; cause to be occupied previously.
- To occupy or engage the attention of beforehand; engross in advance of others; prepossess; preëngage.
- v. To distract; to occupy or draw attention elsewhere.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To take possession of before another.
- v. To prepossess; to engage, occupy, or engross the attention of, beforehand; hence, to prejudice.
- v. engage or engross the interest or attention of beforehand or occupy urgently or obsessively
- v. occupy or take possession of beforehand or before another or appropriate for use in advance
- From pre- + occupy. (Wiktionary)
“The exhibition explores an artist who was strikingly modern in character, confronting subjects and themes – the city, sexuality, manners, social integration, crime, political corruption, charity and patriotism – that continue to preoccupy us today.”
“One problem is that the ideas that preoccupy the author here have to do with language itself.”
“Unravelling what happened and how close the nation came to disaster will preoccupy scientists and engineers for years.”
“I found myself wishing and wishing for the heartache to just stop; that something else, anything, would preoccupy my mind.”
“Attacking commercial aviation—the central nervous system of the global economy—continued to preoccupy al-Qaeda after 9/11.”
“But there are answers to major American problems that preoccupy us today, such as long-term debt (see the recommendations of recent deficit commissions) and political gridlock (for example, changes in redistricting procedures to reduce gerrymandering).”
“However I wonder what all of this -- including the life without parole a potential possibility -- says about us as a society, and as individuals who likely see ourselves as too busy to preoccupy ourselves with something that seems indubitably savage.”
“However, on the big, burning questions that still preoccupy many of us -- not so much "what are we?" as "why are we?”
“Before we leave the State of the Union to focus on whatever squabbles will preoccupy us next week, it's worth pausing on a curious observation made by Paul Ryan in his response -- a sentiment sure to come back in the battles ahead.”
“The agony of the parents, the periodic cruelty of the father -- all are the powerful but passing dramas that for the moment entirely preoccupy us as we watch the movie.”
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