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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.
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 occupants
  • The occupants of the car were a chauffeur, a reporter and a photographer.
  • My two ponies were the only occupants of my stable except a cart-horse.
  • Their occupants were lucky that the scandal broke before the inevitable next earthquake.
  • Still, they may sway at a frequency that can make occupants feel seasick.
  • The ceiling fan, on the other hand, is built to keep the occupants of a room comfortable by moving air gently.
  • These would gladly let buildings crash down on their occupants and then blame the dead and injured for being there.
  • They pose a serious threat to cops and firefighters, not to mention occupants of the houses they're in.
  • The layout of the rooms and the disposition of their occupants is important to an understanding of what later occurred.
  • No one knows how to do this without a specially constructed spacecraft to protect the occupants.
  • The occupants sit at their desks hooked up to computers.
British Dictionary definitions for occupants


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 occupants



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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