top of page



How to pronounce preoccupied (audio)


Monster Trucks in Space

Dictionary definition of preoccupied

Being absorbed or engrossed in one's thoughts, concerns, or activities to the point of distraction or inattentiveness towards other things.
"The professor was preoccupied with grading papers, often forgetting to eat or take breaks."

#1 New Release on Amazon!

Detailed meaning of preoccupied

When someone is preoccupied, their mind is heavily occupied or focused on a particular matter, often to the exclusion of other thoughts or responsibilities. This mental absorption can lead to a decreased awareness of the surrounding environment or a reduced ability to concentrate on tasks at hand. A preoccupied individual may appear distant, lost in thought, or less responsive to external stimuli. This state of preoccupation can arise from various factors such as intense worry, deep contemplation, or excessive busyness, and it can temporarily hinder one's ability to fully engage or interact with the present moment.

Example sentences containing preoccupied

1. Sarah's preoccupied mind prevented her from noticing the beautiful sunset right in front of her.
2. Tom was so preoccupied with his upcoming exam that he couldn't focus on the conversation happening around him.
3. The CEO was preoccupied with the company's declining profits, constantly brainstorming strategies to turn things around.
4. Amy's preoccupied expression indicated that something was bothering her deeply.
5. The young artist was preoccupied with perfecting her technique, spending countless hours in her studio.
6. James' preoccupied state led him to accidentally leave his phone behind at the coffee shop.

History and etymology of preoccupied

The adjective 'preoccupied' has its etymology based on two Latin words: 'prae,' meaning 'before,' and 'occupare,' meaning 'to seize' or 'to take up.' In Latin, 'occupare' was used to describe the act of seizing or taking possession of something. When combined with 'prae,' it formed 'praecupare,' which conveyed the idea of taking possession of something beforehand. Over time, this concept evolved into Old French as 'preoccupier,' where it began to take on the sense of being mentally absorbed or engrossed in thoughts or concerns to the point of distraction. In Modern English, 'preoccupied' maintains this meaning, describing a state where one's mind is occupied or seized by thoughts or activities, often to the detriment of attentiveness to other matters. The etymology of 'preoccupied' thus underscores the idea of being mentally seized or occupied in advance, resulting in a distracted or inattentive state.

Quiz: Find the meaning of preoccupied

Try Again!


Further usage examples of preoccupied

1. The detective was preoccupied with solving the complex murder case, leaving little time for personal matters.
2. The politician's preoccupied mind prevented her from fully listening to her constituents' concerns.
3. The child's preoccupied thoughts about her lost toy made her oblivious to her mother calling her name.
4. The couple's preoccupied discussions about their upcoming vacation made them oblivious to the waiter patiently waiting to take their order.
5. Jack's preoccupied demeanor indicated that his mind was occupied with an important decision he had to make.
6. She seemed preoccupied, lost in deep thought.
7. His preoccupied expression hinted at a hidden worry.
8. The professor appeared preoccupied during the lecture.
9. Preoccupied with work, she missed the beautiful sunset.
10. Their preoccupied minds hindered effective communication.
11. Preoccupied with deadlines, he forgot his lunch.
12. She looked preoccupied, as if something troubled her.
13. Preoccupied with his phone, he bumped into a lamppost.
14. His preoccupied demeanor raised questions among friends.
15. Preoccupied with research, he neglected his social life.
16. She seemed preoccupied with solving a complex puzzle.
17. His preoccupied gaze wandered during the meeting.
18. Preoccupied minds can lead to forgetfulness.
19. She was too preoccupied to notice the time passing.
20. Preoccupied with chores, he missed the party.
21. His preoccupied attitude affected his relationships.
22. She appeared preoccupied with a pressing matter.
23. Preoccupied with exams, they pulled all-nighters.
24. Preoccupied thoughts can hinder creativity.
25. He looked preoccupied, lost in his own world.



distracted, attentive, focused, mindful


Prefix pre-, ACT 2 (American College Testing), High School 16, Middle School 1

bottom of page