[ noun ] an idea that preoccupies the mind and holds the attention

Used in print

(Tom F. Driver, "Beckett by the Madeleine,"...)

That is why the form itself becomes a preoccupation , because it exists as a problem separate from the material it accommodates .

[ noun ] the mental state of being preoccupied by something

Used in print

(J. H. Hexter, "Thomas More: On the Margins...)

But here we have a distinctly modern preoccupation ; we want to know why that book has kept_on selling the way it has ; we want_to know what is perennially new about Utopia .

[ noun ] the act of taking occupancy before someone else does