Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


You know that you left me to Flintwinch, and that he occupies your place.'

It is not only Monsieur that occupies himself with Mademoiselle.

Why, they've got the impudence to assert that he occupies a good position in Paris!

Does the soul, then, always bring life to whatever it occupies?

But in the position she occupies at present you are a dangerous man.

This flatters the sick man, and, better still, it occupies his attention.

The book only occupies any place in my esteem by reason of your opinion.

I have a piece of work in hand which occupies me a great deal.

To these we can add the English imitation which now occupies us.

As a successful editor, in our land, he occupies this position.


mid-14c., "to take possession of," also "to take up space or time, employ (someone)," irregularly borrowed from Old French occuper "occupy (a person or place), hold, seize" (13c.) or directly from Latin occupare "take over, seize, take into possession, possess, occupy," from ob "over" (see ob-) + intensive form of capere "to grasp, seize" (see capable). The final syllable of the English word is difficult to explain, but it is as old as the record; perhaps from a modification made in Anglo-French. During 16c.-17c. a common euphemism for "have sexual intercourse with" (sense attested from early 15c.), which caused it to fall from polite usage.

Related: Occupied; occupying.