tr.v. oc·cu·pied, oc·cu·py·ing, oc·cu·pies
1. To fill up (time or space): a lecture that occupied three hours.
2. To dwell or reside in (an apartment, for example).
3. To hold or fill (an office or position).
4. To seize possession of and maintain control over forcibly or by conquest: The troops occupied the city.
5. To engage or employ the attention or concentration of: occupied the children with coloring books.
[Middle English occupien, alteration of Old French occuper, from Latin occupāre, to seize : ob-, intensive pref.; see OB- + capere, to take; see kap- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.