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[ok-yuh-puh nt] /ˈɒk yə pənt/
a person, family, group, or organization that lives in, occupies, or has quarters or space in or on something:
the occupant of a taxicab; the occupants of the building.
a tenant of a house, estate, office, etc.; resident.
  1. an owner through occupancy.
  2. one who is in actual possession.
Origin of occupant
1590-1600; < Middle French occupant, present participle of occuper. See occupy, -ant
Related forms
nonoccupant, noun
preoccupant, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for occupant
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The stranger quickly recognizes the rights of the first occupant and, without insisting, goes to seek an abode elsewhere.

    Bramble-bees and Others J. Henri Fabre
  • The pole and the canopy of the hammock tangled inextricably its occupant.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • As the equipage passed the Baker homestead, the whole family was clustered about the gate, staring at the occupant of the wagon.

    Cy Whittaker's Place Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Neither of the two had been there since its present occupant had had possession of it.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • The occupant's features were pinched with sadness and starvation.

    The False Chevalier William Douw Lighthall
British Dictionary definitions for occupant


a person, thing, etc, holding a position or place
(law) a person who has possession of something, esp an estate, house, etc; tenant
(law) a person who acquires by occupancy the title to something previously without an owner
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 occupant

1590s, "one who takes possession of something having no owner," from Middle French occupant (15c.) or directly from Latin occupantem (nominative occupans), present participle of occupare "to take possession of" (see occupy). Earlier noun form was ocupier (early 14c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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