To occupy is to remain in one place for an amount of time. You can also use this word to describe activity.

simplepast past participle
  • They’ve occupied the same apartment for the last 35 years.
  • This piano occupies too much space. We need to get rid of it.
  • Running your own business will occupy a lot of your time.
  • You can’t go into the bathroom. It’s occupied. (Someone is in there.)
  • American troops occupied Baghdad for many years before they left. (To occupy a country or a city is to exert military control. )
  • Protestors in Cairo occupied Tahrir Square until their demands were met.
  • The Occupy Wall Street movement in New York and other American cities reflected the growing worldwide dissatisfaction with leaders in government and business.

The word "occupant" is a noun. It refers to a person who occupies or takes up space.

  • According to the lease, this apartment is limited to two occupants.
  • There were four occupants in the car when it crashed.

The word "occupation" is also a noun. You can use it in place of the word "job" or "career."

  • What’s your occupation?
  • Teaching is a rewarding occupation.
  • There are many new occupations that have been created with the popularity of the internet and mobile technology.
  • Tom works as a bricklayer. That’s his occupation.

bricklayer occupation: bricklayer

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This page was first published on June 21, 2012. It was updated on September 16, 2015.