9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[pree-ok-yuh-pahy] /priˈɒk yəˌpaɪ/
verb (used with object), preoccupied, preoccupying.
to absorb or engross to the exclusion of other things.
to occupy beforehand or before others.
Origin of preoccupy
1560-70; pre- + occupy
Related forms
preoccupier, noun
overpreoccupy, verb (used with object), overpreoccupied, overpreoccupying. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for preoccupy
  • Because they preoccupy common goods, they take these goods as their own.
  • So many other things can preoccupy their creativity and get in the way.
  • The all too familiar sensation of stress can preoccupy your thoughts, narrowing attention to the sphere of your concerns.
  • Applied scientists must preoccupy themselves with the details and the biochemical processes that make evolution arise.
  • The dire implications of an aging faculty preoccupy a lot of academic pundits.
  • No matter what his original intentions, foreign problems were sure to preoccupy him deeply.
  • There are even bike and hiking trails, a great way to preoccupy the kids for the day.
  • The final two concerns mainly preoccupy countries that owe their debt to foreigners.
  • As the millennium approaches, it will increasingly preoccupy policymakers and the public too.
  • They also preoccupy thinkers in the social sciences who address fundamental questions.
British Dictionary definitions for preoccupy


verb (transitive) -pies, -pying, -pied
to engross the thoughts or mind of
to occupy before or in advance of another
Word Origin
C16: from Latin praeoccupāre to capture in advance, from prae before + occupāre to seize, take possession of
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 preoccupy

1560s, from pre- + occupy. Related: Preoccupied; preoccupying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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