from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act or right of occupying a place beforehand or in advance.
  • n. The state of being preoccupied or engrossed; preoccupation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act or right of taking possession before another.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act or right of taking possession before another.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of taking possession before another; preoccupation: as, the preoccupancy of unoccupied land.
  • n. The right of taking possession before others: as, to have the preoccupancy of land by right of discovery.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the act of taking occupancy before someone else does
  • n. the mental state of being preoccupied by something


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

pre- +‎ occupancy. See preoccupate.


  • Did you get so caught up in the preoccupancy of a relationship that you lost who you were or were busy in life or career that you, like Adam and Eve, got lost in the garden putting fig leaf after fig leaf title, relationship, this accolade, this saying over you that you forgot who you were and what's life's about?

    CNN Transcript Nov 26, 2007

  • A preoccupancy with religious characteristics assists those who are interested in the problem of sublimation.

    Adventures in the Arts Informal Chapters on Painters, Vaudeville, and Poets

  • His youth was apparently much like mine, not a youth of athleticism so much as a preoccupancy with wonder and the imminence of beauty surrounding all things.

    Adventures in the Arts Informal Chapters on Painters, Vaudeville, and Poets

  • The land was theirs by right of preoccupancy and by gift.

    The Christian Foundation, Or, Scientific and Religious Journal, March, 1880

  • When I first wrote, thirty-five years ago, I attached great importance to preoccupancy, and fancied that a body of indigenous plants already fitted for every available station would prevent an invader, especially from, a quite foreign province, from having a chance of making good his settlement in a new country.

    Alfred Russel Wallace Letters and Reminiscences

  • Accordingly, when he sees her placed beyond his hope, he has no more trouble about her; but turns, and builds a true affection where, during the preoccupancy of his imagination, so many sweet and tender appeals have been made to his heart.

    Shakespeare His Life Art And Characters

  • When Mr. Manning called, and assisted her into the carriage, he observed an unusual preoccupancy of mind; but after a few desultory remarks she rallied, gave him her undivided attention, and seemed engrossed by his conversation.

    St. Elmo. A Novel.

  • The preoccupancy of the country by such indigenous tribes may have checked the development of the placental Rodents and

    The Antiquity of Man

  • On the other hand, the composition and publication of the poem must be set down, if not to malice and revenge, at least to the preoccupancy of chagrin and remorse, which compelled him to take the world into his confidence, cost what it might to his own self-respect, or the peace of mind and happiness of others.

    The Works of Lord Byron. Vol. 4

  • Apprehension is the cursor expressing preoccupancy



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