English edit

Pronunciation edit

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Adjective edit

preoccupied (comparative more preoccupied, superlative most preoccupied)

  1. (obsolete) Prepossessed; biased. [16th–17th c.]
  2. (now rare) Already occupied.
    • 1751, Tobias Smollett, The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle:
      Terrified at this uproar, which disconcerted the magician himself, she ran for shelter into the place which was preoccupied by the other lady [] .
    • 1818, Thomas Love Peacock, Nightmare Abbey, section X:
      Scythrop, retiring to his tower, found his study preoccupied.
    • 1888, William Angus Knight, Principal Shairp and His Friends, John Murray, page 358:
      Presently the gudeman [] with much bowing and many respectful compliments, managed to tell the guest that the room was preoccupied for that night, as two dykers had come and, according to prearrangement, were to sleep in the bed!
  3. (taxonomy, not comparable) Describing a taxonomic name not available for use because it is already used for another. [from 18th c.]
    • 1931, John Allen Rowe, “A revision of the males of the nearctic species in the genus Fabriciella (Tachinidae)”, in Annals of the Entomological Society of America, volume 24:
      In 1924 J. D. Tothill revised the nearctic species in the genus Fabriciella, a name proposed by Bezzi in 1906 to replace Fabricia Rob. D. which is preoccupied.
  4. Concerned with something else; distracted; giving one's attention elsewhere. [from 19th c.]
    I was preoccupied with a deadline at work, and I forgot his birthday.

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Verb edit


  1. simple past and past participle of preoccupy