Etymology
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preoccupation (n.)

1550s, "state of occupying or seizing beforehand," from Latin praeoccupationem (nominative praeoccupatio) "a seizing beforehand, anticipation," noun of action from past-participle stem of praeoccupare, from prae "before" (see pre-) + occupare "seize" (see occupy). Meaning "prior mental absorption" is from 1854. Earlier its secondary sense was "bias, prejudice" (c. 1600).

updated on October 19, 2020

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