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[uh b-sest] /əbˈsɛst/
having an obsession (usually followed by with or by):
He is obsessed with eliminating guilt.
having or displaying signs of an obsession:
The audiophile entered the record store wearing an obsessed smile.
1835-45; obsess + -ed2
Related forms
self-obsessed, adjective
unobsessed, adjective


[uh b-ses] /əbˈsɛs/
verb (used with object)
to dominate or preoccupy the thoughts, feelings, or desires of (a person); beset, trouble, or haunt persistently or abnormally:
Suspicion obsessed him.
verb (used without object)
to think about something unceasingly or persistently; dwell obsessively upon something.
1495-1505; < Latin obsessus, past participle of obsidēre to occupy, frequent, besiege, equivalent to ob- ob- + -sid(ēre) combining form of sedēre to sit
Related forms
obsessingly, adverb
obsessor, noun
Can be confused
abscess, obsess.
1. possess, control, haunt. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for obsessed
  • Of course, the urge to get above it all has obsessed photographers since the invention of the camera.
  • He was obsessed with tradition and obsessed with overturning it.
  • And for riders obsessed with the vibrations of jacket-flapping velocity, there is no alternative.
  • He's obsessed with the monster, convinced it will come for him in the night.
  • We're obsessed with sylphlike slimness, yet heading toward obesity.
  • Eli became obsessed with the shape of one and asked us not to burn it.
  • She obsessed over fitness and appearance, was probably anorexic, and was never happy in her marriage.
  • She is abnormally obsessed with fear of wearing this collar.
  • Half the time, they don't even know what they're shooting-they're so obsessed with the latest gun, the latest camo pattern.
  • Cable companies appear to be obsessed with the pursuit of more revenue even if it means superfluous power consumption.
British Dictionary definitions for obsessed


(transitive; when passive, foll by with or by) to preoccupy completely; haunt
(intransitive; usually foll by on or over) to worry neurotically or obsessively; brood
Word Origin
C16: from Latin obsessus besieged, past participle of obsidēre, from ob- in front of + sedēre to sit
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 obsessed

mid-15c., "tormented, obsessed," past participle adjective from obsess. Originally especially "possessed" by a devil, etc.



c.1500, "to besiege," from Latin obsessus, past participle of obsidere "watch closely; besiege, occupy; stay, remain, abide" literally "sit opposite to," from ob "against" (see ob-) + sedere "sit" (see sedentary). Of evil spirits, "to haunt," from 1530s. Psychological sense is 20c. Related: Obsessed; obsessing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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