transitive verb Etymology: Latin praeoccupare, literally, to seize in advance, from prae- + occupare to seize, occupy Date: 1567 1. to engage or engross the interest or attention of beforehand or preferentially 2. to take possession of or fill beforehand or before another

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Preoccupy — Pre*oc cu*py, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Preoccupied} ( p[=i]d); p. pr. & vb. n. {Preoccupying}.] [Cf. F. pr[ e]occuper. See {Preoccupate}, {Occupy}.] 1. To take possession of before another; as, to preoccupy a country not before held. [1913 Webster] 2 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • preoccupy — index immerse (engross), obsess, occupy (engage), preempt Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • preoccupy — (v.) 1560s, from PRE (Cf. pre ) + OCCUPY (Cf. occupy). Related: Preoccupied; preoccupying …   Etymology dictionary

  • preoccupy — ► VERB (preoccupies, preoccupied) ▪ dominate the mind of (someone) to the exclusion of other thoughts …   English terms dictionary

  • preoccupy — [prē äk′yo͞o pī΄, prē äk′yəpī΄] vt. preoccupied, preoccupying [MFr preoccuper < L praeoccupare: see PRE & OCCUPY] 1. to occupy the thoughts of to the virtual exclusion of other matters; engross; absorb 2. to occupy or take possession of before …   English World dictionary

  • preoccupy — UK [prɪˈɒkjʊpaɪ] / US [prɪˈɑkjəˌpaɪ] verb [transitive] Word forms preoccupy : present tense I/you/we/they preoccupy he/she/it preoccupies present participle preoccupying past tense preoccupied past participle preoccupied if something preoccupies… …   English dictionary

  • preoccupy — verb /pɹiˈɒkjupaɪ,pɹiˈɑkjupaɪ/ To distract; to occupy or draw attention elsewhere. The father tried to preoccupy the child with his keys …   Wiktionary

  • preoccupy — [[t]priɒ̱kjʊpaɪ[/t]] preoccupies, preoccupying, preoccupied VERB If something is preoccupying you, you are thinking about it a lot. [V n] Crime and the fear of crime preoccupy the community. [V n] ...the particular issues, problems and theories… …   English dictionary

  • preoccupy — verb the issues that preoccupy environmentalists Syn: engross, concern, absorb, take up someone s attention, distract, obsess, occupy, prey on someone s mind …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • preoccupy — pre•oc•cu•py [[t]priˈɒk yəˌpaɪ[/t]] v. t. pied, py•ing 1) to absorb or engross to the exclusion of other things 2) to occupy beforehand or before others • Etymology: 1560–70; < Lpraeoccupāreto seize in advance, preoccupy; see pre , occupy… …   From formal English to slang

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