Definition of preoccupation in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The state or condition of being preoccupied or engrossed with something.

    ‘his preoccupation with politics’
    • ‘The saving grace of the past few days has been my preoccupation with a new geeky toy, a DVD recorder.’
    • ‘Even so, he is surprised to have survived so long in such a demanding position, given the modern preoccupation with hiring and firing.’
    • ‘What Chaterji found disconcerting was the time consuming preoccupation with technology.’
    • ‘I'm quite conscious that preoccupation with the past can also be a way of absolving oneself of present obligations.’
    • ‘Given the current preoccupation with the risks associated with driving, these proposals come as little surprise.’
    • ‘Sometimes I find this preoccupation with what's happening now really frustrating.’
    • ‘The real escalation is in our narcissistic preoccupation with ourselves.’
    • ‘Moreover, Lyly's preoccupation with mistaken identity may have influenced Shakespeare.’
    • ‘The state's increasing preoccupation with how we raise our children risks penalising the poorest parents’
    • ‘Despite this preoccupation with finding evil, they are able to recognize the good in anyone or anything.’
    • ‘The writer himself was well aware of the divided critical opinion about his work and his endless preoccupation with the darker side of life.’
    • ‘The renewed preoccupation with design is understandable, given a little history.’
    • ‘The contemporary preoccupation with self is not so much a reflection of the moral decadence of our age as a pitiful search for identity.’
    • ‘I asked some moments ago what connection you see between the conciseness of your poems and their preoccupation with pain.’
    • ‘There is both an institutional and individual preoccupation with measurement of performance.’
    • ‘It seems likely that the writer's preoccupation with chances missed and stories lost has this absence at its heart.’
    pensiveness, concentration, engrossment, absorption, self-absorption, musing, thinking, thinking of other things, deep thought, brown study, brooding
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    1. 1.1[count noun]A subject or matter that engrosses someone.
      ‘their main preoccupation was how to feed their families’
      • ‘Creative people need to be encouraged to think far more about their audience's needs, and far less about their own preoccupations.’
      • ‘These themes show the preoccupations of both virus writers and those they are targeting with their malicious code, Cluley reckons.’
      • ‘This time, his stated preoccupations are impossible to ignore.’
      • ‘In conversation, Miller seems fully attentive to the present and its preoccupations.’
      • ‘It is, in other words, a text that reflects the preoccupations and worldview of its subject.’
      • ‘Paolozzi shares many of the Surrealists' preoccupations, in particular an interest in the power of dolls and mannequins.’
      • ‘Much more interesting is the fact that Larkin waited so confidently for his methods and preoccupations to come into focus.’
      • ‘Man Listening To Disc and Marginalia are creepily accurate portrayals of aspects of my two main preoccupations.’
      • ‘Melburnians tend to have two main preoccupations, the two S's: sport and Sydney.’
      • ‘As public life is emptied out and loses direction, private and personal preoccupations are projected into the public sphere.’
      • ‘The same range of topics and preoccupations fueled discussion on the other side of the Atlantic.’
      • ‘Not the least of the nation's preoccupations in the present situation concerns the demonisation of the particular communities.’
      • ‘The main issues discussed in the volume reflect the preoccupations of the fields of business and economic history.’
      • ‘Such preoccupations are bound to be bad for you, aren't they?’
      • ‘I talked to a group of lads involved with the project, who in exchange for anonymity talked frankly about their preoccupations.’
      obsession, concern, fixation
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Late 16th century (first used in rhetoric in the sense ‘anticipating and meeting objections beforehand’): from Latin praeoccupatio(n-), from praeoccupare seize beforehand (see preoccupy).