Definition of occupy in English:

occupy

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Reside or have one's place of business in (a building)

    ‘the rented flat she occupies in Hampstead’
    • ‘As a result, undesirable tenants occupied the buildings and disturbed the peace through illegal activities.’
    • ‘Two of the flats above the store were occupied by local tenants, however neither were home at the time.’
    • ‘Only 30 of the road's 127 houses are occupied and five tenants live in the row likely to be demolished.’
    • ‘The new law is designed for businesses which occupy premises, and not property owners.’
    • ‘Fewer than half the shops were occupied by the same businesses that they had housed 10 years ago.’
    • ‘This is one of the key areas for inward investment to improve the quality of both premises and the businesses that occupy them.’
    • ‘The workshop is for Lismore commercial property owners and business operators occupying commercial premises.’
    • ‘Many workers already occupy the place I will be calling home for the next three months.’
    • ‘Historians say the finds prove the site has been occupied for 10,000 years.’
    • ‘The three buildings are fully occupied by tenants, it said.’
    • ‘Prada is taking over 23,000 square feet of space formerly occupied by the Guggenheim museum.’
    • ‘Travellers occupying a controversial site next to a Southampton playing field are about to be booted off.’
    • ‘The ground floor of the building is presently occupied by both a taxi and a bookmaking business.’
    • ‘Up to £2,000 is available for new businesses occupying vacant premises and employing at least one member of staff.’
    • ‘Many catering businesses occupy old buildings and ventilation systems are often adapted to fit around the structure.’
    • ‘The refurbishment took place under difficult circumstances, with the tenants still occupying the building, Masilela adds.’
    • ‘During the study individual cells were occupied on average for 2.27 1.28 years.’
    • ‘She turned to the business people in south Wiltshire whose enterprises occupy listed buildings.’
    • ‘The main floor is presently occupied by commercial tenants.’
    inhabited, lived-in, tenanted, settled
    live in, inhabit, be the tenant of, tenant, lodge in, be ensconced in, be established in, ensconce oneself in, establish oneself in, take up residence in, make one's home in, settle in, move into
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Fill or take up (a space or time)
      ‘two long windows occupied almost the whole of the end wall’
      • ‘Where exposed the umbilicus occupies one-third of basal diameter.’
      • ‘Her mind drifted towards the girl who had occupied the seat next to hers.’
      • ‘These are hollow casts that partially fill the space once occupied by the original crystals of anhydrite.’
      • ‘The machine occupied a whole room, filling it with a tangle of piano wires and pulleys to move its various wheels and gears.’
      • ‘Then he placed her down on the chair she had occupied earlier.’
      • ‘The 2,833 lakes in Lithuania occupy about 1.5 percent of the surface area of the nation.’
      • ‘Owner Larry Hyatt estimates ammunition occupies about 15 percent of the shop's space.’
      • ‘The purpose is to fill the space occupied by the standard recoil spring guide and also provide a bit of a cushion for the slide.’
      • ‘Though I'm a big fan of Nick, it's good to see somebody else occupying the space as well.’
      • ‘‘Ashes and Snow’ was the first solo exhibit ever to occupy the entire space.’
      • ‘Every parking space was occupied and the line of voters extended from the gymnasium out into the lobby.’
      • ‘Water vapor takes up space otherwise occupied by oxygen molecules.’
      • ‘According to one rabbinic text, a scholar suggests that David will occupy a throne next to God.’
      • ‘Spain occupies about 85 percent of the Iberian peninsula, with Portugal on its western border.’
      • ‘Fluid fills the space normally occupied by air in the middle ear.’
      • ‘The congregation had to negotiate dangerous steep stairs and fill the space not occupied by a spinning wheel and furniture.’
      • ‘The bed which Peter now occupied once belonged to another girl.’
      • ‘School was just something to fill the time, to occupy the space between Tommy and sleep.’
      • ‘The spaces that weren't occupied by ships were filled with lasers in missiles.’
      • ‘He could not occupy the drawer space because it was filled with the props.’
    2. 1.2Be situated in or at (a position in a system or hierarchy)
      ‘the Bank of England occupies a central position in the UK financial system’
    3. 1.3Hold (a position or job)
      ‘a very different job from any that he had occupied before’
  • 2Fill or preoccupy (the mind)

    ‘her mind was occupied with alarming questions’
    • ‘They walked without conversation for awhile, each one occupied with thoughts of their own.’
    • ‘They are simply asking themselves the question that occupies any young mind: ‘What will make me happier?’’
    • ‘The survey of the top brands occupying consumers' minds was first conducted 20 years ago.’
    • ‘That question was to occupy my mind for some years, before I could finally come up with something.’
    • ‘His mind had been too occupied to notice the raging tempest that was taking place up deck.’
    • ‘But what's occupying my mind right now is the following question: do compact discs get slower as they get older?’
    • ‘Squash had occupied her mind and as she grew up her only concern was to keep improving.’
    • ‘Flashes of inspiration need never go to waste, buried amid the hundreds of other clever thoughts occupying your mind.’
    • ‘Dysfunctional families seem to be occupying the minds of Scotland's visiting choreographers.’
    • ‘Cecil was too occupied to notice the last part, and so didn't ask any questions.’
    • ‘I roll my eyes and we fall quiet again, occupied with our own thoughts.’
    • ‘He had been too occupied earlier to give it a thought until now.’
    • ‘Merely occupying the mind with substitutes for full time work will not do.’
    • ‘They fell into a comfortable silence, each occupied with their own thoughts and emotions.’
    • ‘These are the kind of pointless questions that occupy the mind when you have nothing better to do.’
    • ‘That seems to be the key question occupying the minds of economists at the moment.’
    • ‘Dalen began asking her questions to occupy her mind.’
    • ‘Two things, you'll be surprised to discover, have been occupying my mind since last night.’
    • ‘And my friends were all too occupied to notice my boredom.’
    • ‘Once again, she focused solely on the travel and when they entered Trent late the next day, she had other concerns occupying her mind.’
    engage, busy, employ, distract, absorb, engross, preoccupy, hold, hold the attention of, immerse, interest, involve, entertain, divert, amuse, beguile
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1Keep (someone) busy and active.
      ‘Sarah occupied herself taking the coffee cups over to the sink’
      • ‘The new leisure centre will provide services for the community, including essential activities to occupy young people.’
      • ‘McAllister has more than enough to occupy him at club level.’
      • ‘My father was occupied for such long hours with administration that I hardly saw him at that time.’
      • ‘He grinned silently; she was pretty occupied at the moment.’
      • ‘But I have plenty of things to do that can pleasantly occupy me.’
      • ‘I'm terribly sorry but Mr. Collins is occupied at the moment.’
      • ‘The one-month programme recognises the fact that school children need to be gainfully occupied during summer holidays, he adds.’
      • ‘Occupied with her task she became a different person: calm, businesslike, and driven.’
      • ‘I thought this was strange, but I was occupied at the time with trying to finalize my divorce.’
      • ‘Here are some movie and artsite suggestions to occupy you.’
      • ‘So, I've got books to occupy me for the next little while.’
      • ‘At least finding this Daniel Mason person would occupy him for a while when he got back.’
      • ‘She hid her face and dashed past them while Jennifer was busy occupying Aaron.’
      • ‘Many families are occupied with the task of simply getting by.’
      • ‘For the next few hours, the remaining soldiers were occupied by burying those of their group that had been killed by the rogues.’
      • ‘I am a regular visitor to the area and particularly on wet, windy days there is little to occupy the children.’
      • ‘‘I am used to working such long hours I shall need something to occupy me,’ he said.’
      • ‘His parents had gone out to dinner, and his sisters were all occupied at the moment.’
      • ‘Wenger has other problems to occupy him ahead of today's Highbury meeting with Southampton.’
  • 3Take control of (a place, especially a country) by military conquest or settlement.

    ‘Syria was occupied by France under a League of Nations mandate’
    • ‘In 1920, army troops from what was then the Soviet Union invaded and occupied the capital city, Baku.’
    • ‘Collective punishment is forbidden by the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 governing militarily occupied territories.’
    • ‘The US military will continue to occupy the country, exercising powers amounting to martial law.’
    • ‘By using ‘air policing,’ the British maintained control without occupying the country.’
    • ‘A further influence was the iconography of the early Christian art of the Byzantines who occupied southern Spain.’
    • ‘If military forces aggressively occupy an area, the power needed to operate water pumps and plants may not be available.’
    • ‘Militarily occupying countries is a terribly inefficient way to obtain energy.’
    • ‘Historically, when military forces occupied belligerent territory, little how-to guidance existed.’
    • ‘Then in 1882, following a failed attempt by the Egyptian army to end foreign interference, British troops occupied the country.’
    • ‘There is no talk of Pearl Harbor, or of fascist, military dictators, or occupied nations, or a fight for democracy.’
    • ‘Most of the population occupied what would become the republic of Tajikistan in the former Soviet Union.’
    • ‘During World War II he parachuted into German occupied territory in a German uniform, and escaped death narrowly.’
    • ‘We visited each occupied and previously occupied territory at least twice per month.’
    • ‘Washington sent Marines into Haiti in 1915 and militarily occupied the country for nearly 20 years.’
    • ‘How can you be a sovereign nation while your country is occupied by the military of another nation?’
    • ‘In Poland it is looking into the use of several facilities once occupied by Soviet forces.’
    • ‘On September 17, Soviet troops invaded and then occupied eastern Poland under the terms of this agreement.’
    • ‘We know they have occupied their neighbor Kuwait, and we have thrown them out.’
    • ‘In the countries occupied by the Red Army at that time, vicious purges took place against religious leaders of all faiths.’
    • ‘Now, ironically, it was time to fill the space formerly occupied by indigenous people with indigenous people.’
    capture, seize, take possession of, conquer, invade, overrun, take over, colonize, garrison, annex, dominate, subjugate, hegemonize, hold, commandeer, requisition
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1Enter and stay in (a building) without authority and often forcibly, especially as a form of protest.
      ‘the workers occupied the factory’
      • ‘Protesters, who occupied the council's building, accused the governor of corruption.’
      • ‘In some instances, workers have occupied shutdown plants in protest.’
      • ‘In a threatened workplace by far the best answer is for workers to occupy the factory or plant.’
      • ‘In January 2002, hundreds of workers and supporters occupied the utility headquarters for 36 days.’
      • ‘On September 5 workers occupied a building at the firm's Poznan headquarters and began a hunger strike.’
      • ‘When workers occupied the banks in protest against closures in January, the unions ordered them to be handed over to the receivers.’
      • ‘There are about 400 illegal immigrant farm workers occupying buildings in Seville, Spain, demanding the right to stay in the country.’
      • ‘You could name them, boycott them, occupy their offices and force them out of business.’
      • ‘Early in September, some 5,000 people from various areas in Sampang, protested the delay by occupying the regency office.’
      • ‘Since then the workers have been occupying the factory without general trade union support.’
      • ‘Workers occupied the factory in protest over the dismissal of 250 of the company's 500-strong workforce.’
      • ‘The workers occupied the factory after a protest stoppage on January 26 in support of a 300 rupees pay increase owing to them since last year.’
      • ‘The workers occupied the factory and after three years are still hoping to be able to buy the factory and get it back into production.’
      • ‘Protesters threatened to occupy the council building if legislators and the shoe company continue to ignore their demands.’
      • ‘As part of their protest, workers occupied the factory roof.’
      • ‘The building is occupied by workers from the Traffic Square Restaurant, and other workers working for the owner.’
      • ‘Workers have occupied this sprawling factory since the local government sold it to a private enterprise, three years ago.’
      • ‘Workers occupied the plant, stayed for over a year and finally won.’
      • ‘The workers subsequently occupied the factory and restarted production, this time operating as owners of a cooperative.’
      • ‘At the beginning of May, the trade unions had been dissolved; trade union offices were forcibly occupied and leading officials arrested.’

Origin

Middle English: formed irregularly from Old French occuper, from Latin occupare seize. A now obsolete vulgar sense ‘have sexual relations with’ seems to have led to the general avoidance of the word in the 17th and most of the 18th century.

Pronunciation:

occupy

/ˈɒkjʊpʌɪ/