Definition of occupant in English:



  • 1A person who resides or is present in a house, vehicle, seat, place, etc., at a given time.

    • ‘Several ships tracked the pod, fearing that its sole occupant was escaping.’
    • ‘Another factor of cardinal importance in protecting building occupants is debris mitigation.’
    • ‘Rear seat occupants have the option of heated seats.’
    • ‘He moved away from the closet to look at the door and the new occupant of the room.’
    • ‘When we arrived, I was surprised to learn that she was the only occupant of a large house.’
    • ‘Mr Melvin was the sole occupant of the car, and no other vehicles were involved.’
    • ‘A shocked look spread out on the faces of the occupants of the table.’
    • ‘The occupant of the office was visibly agitated.’
    • ‘As a result, facility executives may feel that applying a window film will protect building occupants.’
    • ‘Rian groaned, pulling on a pair of shoes that used to belong to a previous occupant of the room.’
    • ‘The lone male occupant fled the home through a second-floor window.’
    • ‘A major concern was worker and occupant safety during the lead cutting and installation.’
    • ‘She was the only occupant of the vehicle.’
    • ‘The opportunity to reduce energy and maintenance costs and improve occupant comfort will be missed.’
    • ‘He was the only occupant of the car and was pronounced dead at the scene.’
    • ‘The driver was in her 70s and was the sole occupant of the car, a spokesman added.’
    • ‘Cal was given a room where the previous occupant had performed a mysterious moonlit flit.’
    • ‘They allow building occupants to see what is going on outside the building.’
    • ‘The group banged on the door to alert the sleeping occupants to no avail.’
    • ‘Illegal occupants of local authority houses in Portlaoise will defy Laois County Council's efforts to evict them.’
    resident, inhabitant, owner, householder, tenant, renter, leaseholder, lessee, lodger, boarder, inmate, user
    incumbent, holder
    occupier, owner-occupier
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1The holder of a position or office.
      ‘the first occupant of the Oval Office’
      • ‘Will black voters go to the polls in droves in November to have their say about who should be the next occupant of the Oval Office?’
      • ‘Over the years, Larry's show has become a favorite forum for would-be occupants of the Oval Office.’
      • ‘In the official records, he may go down as the third Muslim occupant of the highest office of the country.’
      • ‘One newspaper said yesterday that they were proof that he is ‘one of the most reactionary occupants of his office in modern times’.’
      • ‘Rosalynn saw the first ladyship as a position that, like the presidency, makes its occupant accountable to all the people.’
      • ‘This book examines each of the eleven occupants of the Oval Office since Herbert Hoover in terms of six yardsticks.’
      • ‘And sometimes the man in the office, even an unlikely occupant of that office, may respond in an unexpected but useful way, to a crisis.’
      • ‘And now with Fran Rooney ‘moving’ aside, it has left the door open for yet another occupant for that famous office.’
      • ‘In most cases, the occupant of these positions must first be a faculty member and one who has achieved the rank of full professor.’
      • ‘He would not have been much impressed with the present occupant of the position.’
      • ‘The main concern of the Australian Republican Movement has always been with the Office of Governor-General rather than any one occupant of the position.’
      • ‘Why hasn't this job weighed as heavily on you as it has on some other occupants of this Oval Office?’
      • ‘The problem is that at the time Roosevelt was only Assistant Secretary of the Navy, albeit a particularly pushy occupant of that office.’
      • ‘But seeing what we're seeing right now made me think of that line and how it reminds me of the current occupant of the Oval Office.’
    2. 1.2Law A person holding property, especially land, in actual possession.
      • ‘Few if any of the original occupants of the lands on which the mission stands reside there.’
      • ‘Marcus contended that municipal services were linked to the property rather than the occupant.’
      • ‘The Government should demonstrate its commitment to property rights by evicting illegal occupants.’
      • ‘But it says a petition signed by the occupants of 11 properties near one of the proposed refuges, near Elliot Court, has been received.’
      • ‘The goal is to have a safe, functional, and reliable system to protect the occupants and property.’


Late 16th century (in the legal sense person who establishes a title): from French, or from Latin occupant- seizing from the verb occupare.