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preoccupation

[pree-ok-yuh-pey-shuh n, pree-ok-] /priˌɒk yəˈpeɪ ʃən, ˌpri ɒk-/
noun
1.
the state of being preoccupied.
2.
an act of preoccupying.
Origin
1530-1540
1530-40; < Latin praeoccupātiōn- (stem of praeoccupātiō) a taking possession beforehand. See pre-, occupation
Related forms
overpreoccupation, noun
self-preoccupation, noun
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for preoccupation
  • Over the past two decades, college admissions has become a prime-time preoccupation.
  • Contemporary art has reflected this preoccupation with discarded materials.
  • Terrorism became the preoccupation of police and politicians, bankers, and business leaders.
  • Boosting people's sense of self-worth has become a national preoccupation.
  • The preoccupation of naturalists with evolutionary progress made it easy to case crocodiles as evolutionary sluggards.
  • But he does continue to have weaknesses stemming from too great a preoccupation with actuality.
  • Securing more private funds has thus become a growing preoccupation.
  • The first was the investment-banking arm's preoccupation with growth.
  • Terrorism became the preoccupation of police and politicians, bankers and business leaders.
  • If you have a holey old cast-iron wood stove, you know what a constant preoccupation fussily feeding it can become.
British Dictionary definitions for preoccupation

preoccupation

/priːˌɒkjʊˈpeɪʃən/
noun
1.
the state of being preoccupied, esp mentally
2.
something that holds the attention or preoccupies the mind
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for preoccupation
n.

1550s, "state of occupying beforehand," from Latin praeoccupationem (nominative praeoccupatio) "a seizing beforehand, anticipation," noun of action from past participle stem of praeoccupare, from prae- "before" (see pre-) + occupare "seize" (see occupy). Meaning "mental absorption" is from 1854. Earlier its secondary sense was "bias, prejudice" (c.1600).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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