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[ok-yuh-pey-shuh n] /ˌɒk yəˈpeɪ ʃən/
a person's usual or principal work or business, especially as a means of earning a living; vocation:
Her occupation was dentistry.
any activity in which a person is engaged.
possession, settlement, or use of land or property.
the act of occupying, possessing, or settling.
the state of being occupied, taken over, or settled.
the state of being busy:
His constant occupation with his writing has cut severely into his social life.
the seizure and control of an area by military forces, especially foreign territory.
the term of control of a territory by foreign military forces:
Danish resistance during the German occupation.
tenure or the holding of an office or official function:
during his occupation of the vice presidency.
the act of going into and taking control of a public or private space, as a park or building, especially as an act of protest:
The students' week-long occupation of the dean's office brought about a change in the university's curfew policy.
the state or condition of living or working in a given place:
The landlord will not allow occupation of any of his apartments by families with children or pets.
Origin of occupation
1250-1300; Middle English occupacioun < Middle French occupation < Latin occupātiōn- (stem of occupātiō), equivalent to occupāt(us) (past participle of occupāre; see occupy) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
occupationless, adjective
occupative, adjective
nonoccupation, noun
reoccupation, noun
self-occupation, noun
1. employment, pursuit, craft, métier. Occupation, business, profession, trade refer to the activity to which one regularly devotes oneself, especially one's regular work, or means of getting a living. Occupation is the general word: a pleasant or congenial occupation. Business especially suggests a commercial or mercantile occupation: the printing business. Profession implies an occupation requiring special knowledge and training in some field of science or learning: the profession of teaching. Trade suggests an occupation involving manual training and skill: one of the building trades. 3. occupancy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for occupation
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This occupation, under the circumstances, supplied every kind of diversion.

    A Labrador Doctor Wilfred Thomason Grenfell
  • I am as well satisfied with my choice of an occupation in life as ever.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • The squire was very hard set for occupation in these summer months.

    Framley Parsonage Anthony Trollope
  • Any occupation is interrupted for the prayers and prescribed genuflections.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • We were now about to enter on a new development of the British occupation.

    The Pacification of Burma Sir Charles Haukes Todd Crosthwaite
British Dictionary definitions for occupation


a person's regular work or profession; job or principal activity
any activity on which time is spent by a person
the act of occupying or the state of being occupied
the control of a country by a foreign military power
the period of time that a nation, place, or position is occupied
(modifier) for the use of the occupier of a particular property: occupation road, occupation bridge
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 occupation

early 14c., "fact of holding or possessing;" mid-14c., "a being employed in something," also "a particular action," from Old French occupacion "pursuit, work, employment; occupancy, occupation" (12c.), from Latin occupationem (nominative occupatio) "a taking possession; business, employment," noun of action from past participle stem of occupare (see occupy). Meaning "employment, business in which one engages" is late 14c. That of "condition of being held and ruled by troops of another country" is from 1940.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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