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verb [transitive] occupy pronunciation in British English /ˈɒkjʊpaɪ/ 
Word Forms
present tense
present participleoccupying
past tenseoccupied
past participleoccupied
  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 have 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.

      Synonyms and related words for this sense of occupy
  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

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of occupy
    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.

      Synonyms and related words for this sense of occupy
  3. 3
    to have a particular job or position in an organization or system, especially an important one

    Members of the group occupy positions of power in the country.

  4. 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.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of occupy
  5. 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 house to think about a holiday.


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