- to occupy the thoughts of to the virtual exclusion of other matters; engross; absorb
- to occupy or take possession of before someone else or beforehand
Origin of preoccupyMiddle French preoccuper ; from Classical Latin praeoccupare: see pre- and amp; occupy
transitive verbpre·oc·cu·pied, pre·oc·cu·py·ing, pre·oc·cu·pies
To occupy completely the mind or attention of; engross. See Synonyms at engross.
(third-person singular simple present preoccupies, present participle preoccupying, simple past and past participle preoccupied)
- To distract; to occupy or draw attention elsewhere.
- The father tried to preoccupy the child with his keys.
From pre- +"Ž occupy.