• WordNet 3.6
    • v preoccupy engage or engross the interest or attention of beforehand or occupy urgently or obsessively "His work preoccupies him","The matter preoccupies her completely--she cannot think of anything else"
    • v preoccupy occupy or take possession of beforehand or before another or appropriate for use in advance "the army preoccupied the hills"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Preoccupy To prepossess; to engage, occupy, or engross the attention of, beforehand; hence, to prejudice. "I Think it more respectful to the reader to leave something to reflections than to preoccupy his judgment."
    • Preoccupy To take possession of before another; as, to preoccupy a country not before held.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • preoccupy To occupy before others; take possession of or appropriate for use in advance of others.
    • preoccupy To fill beforehand; cause to be occupied previously.
    • preoccupy To occupy or engage the attention of beforehand; engross in advance of others; prepossess; preëngage.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Preoccupy prē-ok′ū-pī to occupy or take possession of beforehand: to fill beforehand or with prejudices
    • ***


  • Daniel J. Boorstin
    “What preoccupies us, then, is not God as a fact of nature, but as a fabrication useful for a God-fearing society. God himself becomes not a power but an image.”
  • Johnson
    “Our minds should not be empty because if they are not preoccupied by good, evil will break in upon them.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “In my opinion a mathematician need not preoccupy himself with philosophy -- An opinion, moreover, which has been expressed by many philosophers.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. F. préoccuper,. See Preoccupate Occupy


In literature:

His eyes had the same stern, thoughtful and, as it were, preoccupied look.
"The Possessed" by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Harry is too much preoccupied to discover it for himself.
"The Virginians" by William Makepeace Thackeray
Falk was lifted right out of his own preoccupied thoughts.
"The Cathedral" by Sir Hugh Walpole
Robin Pierce walked on into the drawing-rooms looking rather preoccupied.
"The Woman With The Fan" by Robert Hichens
He became thoughtful, reflective, silent, preoccupied.
"The World's Greatest Books, Vol. I" by Various
Doubtless Sarah Gailey, preoccupied and worried by new responsibilities, desired to avoid the added care of nursing the sick.
"Hilda Lessways" by Arnold Bennett
Believing Dick Stanmore the great obstacle in his way, he watched that preoccupied gentleman as a cat watches a mouse.
"M. or N. "Similia similibus curantur."" by G.J. Whyte-Melville
Fyfe and Benton came to dinner more or less preoccupied, an odd mood for Charlie Benton.
"Big Timber" by Bertrand W. Sinclair
Deppingham was surly and preoccupied.
"The Man From Brodney's" by George Barr McCutcheon
He had become preoccupied.
"The Wrong Twin" by Harry Leon Wilson

In poetry:

But today, in spite of his nature,
he is preoccupied, dejected. Near the shore
he watched, deeply distressed, as they unload
ships with booty taken from the Peloponnese.
"On an Italian Shore" by Constantine P Cavafy
First comes the Abbess, preoccupied
And slow, as a woman often tried,
With her temper in bond. Then the oldest nun.
Then younger and younger, until the last one
Has a laugh on her lips,
And fairly skips.
"The Book Of Hours Of Sister Clotilde" by Amy Lowell

In news:

"I'm so preoccupied and nervous when I'm getting into a character, I just can't sit down now," she said, with a giggle.
While clinicians are preoccupied with providing best patient care, it doesn't mean that they are insensitive to financial concerns.
Both great champions of the white male antihero, both preoccupied with vision, voyeurism and vice.
It's not like there's a no-talking policy in terminals or on flights, but more people today are preoccupied with their electronic gadgets.
She's a typical fifteen-year-old, often preoccupied with her friends and with the village's cutest boy.
A former protester claims Occupy KC is preoccupied with sex and drugs, but an occupier says that's not true.
Democrats preoccupied with the 1 percent.
Americans are preoccupied with protein.
Leading Intentionally in a Preoccupied World.
She) and Hanalei Vierra, PhD (Dr. Dear Dr He Said, Dr She Said: My husband is involved with a very important humanitarian cause that keeps him very busy and preoccupied .
Two bizarre murders preoccupy the charismatic Matthew Hawkwood, a former army officer turned London Bow Street Runner, in McGee's stellar second Regency crime thriller (after Hawkwood).
"We think it's because when you're stressed, you're preoccupied, and if you're preoccupied, you're not attentive to the situation at hand and to prospective memory tasks .".
Taxman Preoccupies Wall Street to Upper East Side in IRS Levies.
The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform appointed by President Obama is preoccupied with the federal government's growing fiscal deficit.
I try to pray every day, and I know I ought to, but sometimes I don't get around to it because I'm preoccupied with other things.

In science:

This second point will of course preoccupy us in what follows.
On the Persistence of Homogeneous Matter
The study of random graphs, initiated by Erd˝os forty years ago, has been preoccupied by asymptotic results.
Exact expectations for random graphs and assignments
Since its inception, random matrix theory has been mostly preoccupied with asymptotic properties of random matrices as their dimensions grow to infinity. A foundational example of this nature is Wigner’s semicircle law .
Non-asymptotic theory of random matrices: extreme singular values
We will be preoccupied with the case that Γ = Z, generated by a single element α, and ρ(α) is a rotation through angle θ for certain real numbers θ, and we will say that such a rotation number θ can be forced.
Dynamical forcing of circular groups
From now on we will mainly be preoccupied with curves U which are complements of a divisor Y in a smooth, pro jective curve X of genus 0.
On cuspidal sections of algebraic fundamental groups