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preoccupy (v.)

1560s, from pre- + occupy. Related: Preoccupied; preoccupying.

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Definitions of preoccupy from WordNet

preoccupy (v.)
engage or engross the interest or attention of beforehand or occupy urgently or obsessively;
preoccupy (v.)
occupy or take possession of beforehand or before another or appropriate for use in advance;
the army preoccupied the hills
From wordnet.princeton.edu