the issues that preoccupy environmentalists

engross, concern, absorb, take up someone's attention, distract, obsess, occupy, prey on someone's mind

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  • Preoccupy — Pre*oc cu*py, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Preoccupied} ( p[=i]d); p. pr. & vb. n. {Preoccupying}.] [Cf. F. pr[ e]occuper. See {Preoccupate}, {Occupy}.] 1. To take possession of before another; as, to preoccupy a country not before held. [1913 Webster] 2 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • preoccupy — index immerse (engross), obsess, occupy (engage), preempt Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • preoccupy — (v.) 1560s, from PRE (Cf. pre ) + OCCUPY (Cf. occupy). Related: Preoccupied; preoccupying …   Etymology dictionary

  • preoccupy — ► VERB (preoccupies, preoccupied) ▪ dominate the mind of (someone) to the exclusion of other thoughts …   English terms dictionary

  • preoccupy — [prē äk′yo͞o pī΄, prē äk′yəpī΄] vt. preoccupied, preoccupying [MFr preoccuper < L praeoccupare: see PRE & OCCUPY] 1. to occupy the thoughts of to the virtual exclusion of other matters; engross; absorb 2. to occupy or take possession of before …   English World dictionary

  • preoccupy — UK [prɪˈɒkjʊpaɪ] / US [prɪˈɑkjəˌpaɪ] verb [transitive] Word forms preoccupy : present tense I/you/we/they preoccupy he/she/it preoccupies present participle preoccupying past tense preoccupied past participle preoccupied if something preoccupies… …   English dictionary

  • preoccupy — verb /pɹiˈɒkjupaɪ,pɹiˈɑkjupaɪ/ To distract; to occupy or draw attention elsewhere. The father tried to preoccupy the child with his keys …   Wiktionary

  • preoccupy — [[t]priɒ̱kjʊpaɪ[/t]] preoccupies, preoccupying, preoccupied VERB If something is preoccupying you, you are thinking about it a lot. [V n] Crime and the fear of crime preoccupy the community. [V n] ...the particular issues, problems and theories… …   English dictionary

  • preoccupy — pre•oc•cu•py [[t]priˈɒk yəˌpaɪ[/t]] v. t. pied, py•ing 1) to absorb or engross to the exclusion of other things 2) to occupy beforehand or before others • Etymology: 1560–70; < Lpraeoccupāreto seize in advance, preoccupy; see pre , occupy… …   From formal English to slang

  • preoccupy — transitive verb Etymology: Latin praeoccupare, literally, to seize in advance, from prae + occupare to seize, occupy Date: 1567 1. to engage or engross the interest or attention of beforehand or preferentially 2. to take possession of or fill… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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