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preoccupied

[pree-ok-yuh-pahyd] /priˈɒk yəˌpaɪd/
adjective
1.
completely engrossed in thought; absorbed.
2.
previously occupied; taken; filled.
3.
Biology. already used as a name for some species, genus, etc., and not available as a designation for any other.
Origin of preoccupied
1835-1845
1835-45; preoccupy + -ed2
Related forms
preoccupiedly, adverb
preoccupiedness, noun
unpreoccupied, adjective
Synonyms
1. busy; concentrating.

preoccupy

[pree-ok-yuh-pahy] /priˈɒk yəˌpaɪ/
verb (used with object), preoccupied, preoccupying.
1.
to absorb or engross to the exclusion of other things.
2.
to occupy beforehand or before others.
Origin
1560-70; pre- + occupy
Related forms
preoccupier, noun
overpreoccupy, verb (used with object), overpreoccupied, overpreoccupying.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for preoccupied
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Less calm than he could have wished, Demetrios could not succeed in fixing his preoccupied thoughts.

    Ancient Manners Pierre Louys
  • "She hasn't any tolerance in her, anyhow," and he was grave and preoccupied all through dinner.

  • He paused, preoccupied; he was thinking less of his hearers than of himself.

    No Clue James Hay
  • He'll never benefit himself in that way, patient and preoccupied workman.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • The Neapolitan was one of those most preoccupied with esthetics.

    Csar or Nothing Po Baroja Baroja
British Dictionary definitions for preoccupied

preoccupied

/priːˈɒkjʊˌpaɪd/
adjective
1.
engrossed or absorbed in something, esp one's own thoughts
2.
already or previously occupied
3.
(biology) (of a taxonomic name) already used to designate a genus, species, etc

preoccupy

/priːˈɒkjʊˌpaɪ/
verb (transitive) -pies, -pying, -pied
1.
to engross the thoughts or mind of
2.
to occupy before or in advance of another
Word Origin
C16: from Latin praeoccupāre to capture in advance, from prae before + occupāre to seize, take possession of
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for preoccupied
adj.

"absorbed in thought," 1823, past participle adjective from preoccupy (v.). Earlier it meant "occupied in advance."

preoccupy

v.

1560s, from pre- + occupy. Related: Preoccupied; preoccupying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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