Things that preoccupy you engross or enthrall you — they suck up all of your attention and energy, sometimes to an unhealthy degree. Your upcoming math test might preoccupy you, making it difficult for you to concentrate in English class.

For some teenagers, thoughts about how they appear to others can easily preoccupy them, while others let their concern about grades and college applications preoccupy them. It's important to spend some time thinking about these things, but allowing them to preoccupy you can be stressful and unpleasant. Preoccupy comes from the Latin word praeoccupare, "seize beforehand."

Definitions of preoccupy
  1. verb
    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”
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    ghost, haunt, obsess
    haunt like a ghost; pursue
    cause to be preoccupied
    type of:
    command, control
    exercise authoritative control or power over
  2. verb
    occupy or take possession of beforehand or before another or appropriate for use in advance
    “the army preoccupied the hills”
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    type of:
    arrogate, assume, seize, take over, usurp
    seize and take control without authority and possibly with force; take as one's right or possession
Word Family

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