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preoccupy (v.)

1560s, "engage (the attention of) beforehand, engross in advance of or to the exclusion of other things," from pre- "before" + occupy. Sense of "occupy before others" is attested from 1620s. 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