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[ok-yuh-pahy] /ˈɒk yəˌpaɪ/
verb (used with object), occupied, occupying.
to take or fill up (space, time, etc.):
I occupied my evenings reading novels.
to engage or employ the mind, energy, or attention of:
Occupy the children with a game while I prepare dinner.
to be a resident or tenant of; dwell in:
We occupied the same house for 20 years.
to hold (a position, office, etc.).
to take possession and control of (a place), as by military invasion.
(usually initial capital letter) to participate in a protest about (a social or political issue), as by taking possession or control of buildings or public places that are symbolic of the issue: Let’s Occupy our voting rights!
The Occupy Wall Street movement of late 2011 was a protest against economic inequality.
verb (used without object), occupied, occupying.
to take or hold possession.
(usually initial capital letter) to participate in a protest about a social or political issue.
(usually initial capital letter) of or relating to a protest about a social or political issue, as in Occupy movement; Occupy protest; Occupy candidate:
the Occupy movement for social justice.
Origin of occupy
1300-50; Middle English occupien < Middle French occuper < Latin occupāre to seize, take hold, take up, make one's own, equivalent to oc- oc- + -cup-, combining form of capere to take, seize + -āre infinitive suffix
Related forms
occupiable, adjective
occupier, noun
misoccupy, verb, misoccupied, misoccupying.
overoccupied, adjective
reoccupy, verb (used with object), reoccupied, reoccupying.
self-occupied, adjective
underoccupied, adjective
well-occupied, adjective
1, 2, 4, 5. See have. 2. use, busy. 5. capture, seize. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for occupier
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The proposer, Curwen, sought merely to legalize the killing of game started on ground farmed by the occupier.

    William Pitt and the Great War John Holland Rose
  • The State authority was to be the purchaser, and the occupier was to be the proprietor.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • Under the old régime the landlord used to pay one-half of the poor rate and the occupier the other half.

    Ireland and the Home Rule Movement Michael F. J. McDonnell
  • It was a house which typified the drearier tenets of its occupier with great exactness.

    A Laodicean Thomas Hardy
  • He told her his address, but not his name, and she could not send the card to "occupier."

    Tommy and Grizel J.M. Barrie
British Dictionary definitions for occupier


(Brit) a person who is in possession or occupation of a house or land
a person or thing that occupies


verb (transitive) -pies, -pying, -pied
to live or be established in (a house, flat, office, etc)
(often passive) to keep (a person) busy or engrossed; engage the attention of
(often passive) to take up (a certain amount of time or space)
to take and hold possession of, esp as a demonstration: students occupied the college buildings
to fill or hold (a position or rank)
Word Origin
C14: from Old French occuper, from Latin occupāre to seize hold of, from ob- (intensive) + capere to take
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 occupier

late 14c., agent noun from occupy.



mid-14c., "to take possession of," also "to take up space or time, employ (someone)," irregularly borrowed from Old French occuper "occupy (a person or place), hold, seize" (13c.) or directly from Latin occupare "take over, seize, take into possession, possess, occupy," from ob "over" (see ob-) + intensive form of capere "to grasp, seize" (see capable). The final syllable of the English word is difficult to explain, but it is as old as the record; perhaps from a modification made in Anglo-French. During 16c.-17c. a common euphemism for "have sexual intercourse with" (sense attested from early 15c.), which caused it to fall from polite usage.

"A captaine? Gods light these villaines wil make the word as odious as the word occupy, which was an excellent good worde before it was il sorted." [Doll Tearsheet in "2 Henry IV"]
Related: Occupied; occupying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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