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occupy - definition and synonyms


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verb [transitive] occupy pronunciation in American English /ˈɑkjəˌpaɪ/
Word Forms
present tense
present participleoccupying
past tenseoccupied
past participleoccupied
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  1. 1
    if someone occupies a room, building, area of land, seat, bed, or other place during a period of time, they use it
    The Smith family has occupied this farm for over a hundred years.
    All the seats on the bus were occupied.
    1. a.
      if something occupies a space or a period of time, it is present in it or fills it
      Warehouses occupied most of the site.
      Commercial photography occupied much of his time.
  2. 2
    to be in control of a place that you have entered in a group using military force
    The region was quickly occupied by foreign troops.
    an occupying army/force
    1. a.
      to move into a public place and stay there for a period of time in order to show that you strongly disagree with a policy, law , etc.
      An estimated 3,000 people assembled at Battery Park with the intention of occupying Wall Street.
      I spoke at length with various religious folk during my time in Occupy London.
  3. 4
    to keep someone busy at an activity
    I need some way to occupy the kids for an hour.
    keep someone occupied: You keep him occupied down here while I check upstairs.
    be occupied with something: He’s still fully occupied with writing his report.
    occupy yourself (with something): You need to find something to occupy yourself with when you retire.
  4. 5
    formal if something occupies your mind, thoughts, or attention, or if it occupies you, you think about it a lot
    These thoughts occupied my mind, though I tried to sleep.
    The problem has been occupying me all week.
    be occupied with something: My mind’s been too occupied with moving to think about a vacation.


a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

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an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

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