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a. An activity that serves as one's regular source of livelihood; a vocation.
b. An activity engaged in especially as a means of passing time; an avocation.
a. The act or process of holding or possessing a place.
b. The state of being held or possessed.
a. Invasion, conquest, and control of a nation or territory by foreign armed forces.
b. The military government exercising control over an occupied nation or territory.

[Middle English occupacioun, from Old French occupacion, from Latin occupātiō, occupātiōn-, from occupātus, past participle of occupāre, to occupy; see occupy.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. a person's regular work or profession; job or principal activity
2. any activity on which time is spent by a person
3. the act of occupying or the state of being occupied
4. (Military) the control of a country by a foreign military power
5. the period of time that a nation, place, or position is occupied
6. (modifier) for the use of the occupier of a particular property: occupation road; occupation bridge.
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌɒk yəˈpeɪ ʃən)

1. a person's usual or principal work, esp. in earning a living; vocation.
2. any activity in which a person is engaged.
3. possession, settlement, or use of land or property.
4. the act of occupying.
5. the state of being occupied.
6. the seizure and control of an area by military forces, esp. foreign territory.
7. the term of control of a territory by foreign military forces.
8. the holding of an office or official function.
[1250–1300; Middle English (< Middle French) < Latin]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • aptronym - A name that fits a person's nature or occupation, like Jane House for a real estate agent.
  • mechanical - Predates "machine" in English and has long had certain separate senses, such as "an art, trade, or occupation: concerned with manual work" and "practical as opposed to theoretical."
  • specialization, specialty - Specialization refers to the process of becoming specialized; specialty refers to a special pursuit, occupation, or product.
  • study - Based on Latin studium, "painstaking application, zeal" (from studere, "to be zealous"), study's earliest uses are surprising: "affection, friendliness," an "occupation or pursuit," and "a state of reverie or abstraction; state of perplexity."
Farlex Trivia Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.



costermonger A street-vendor, a hawker of fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, etc.; also simply coster. This British expression comes from the earlier costardmonger ‘apple-seller’ (costard ‘a large, ribbed variety of apple’ + monger ‘dealer, trader’). It has been in use since 1514.

flatfoot A police officer. This expression, in widespread use since the early 20th century, implies that a police officer on a beat becomes flatfooted from walking. Flatfoot and other expressions of derision became firmly entrenched in American speech during the Prohibition era (1920-33) when the general public was particularly contemptuous of those who enforced the law.

He got sore as a boil and stepped up to the lousy flatfoot. (J. T. Farrell, Studs Lonigan, 1932)

flesh-tailor A surgeon. The derivation of this British colloquialism is obvious.

free-lance An unaffiliated person who acts on his own judgment; a writer or journalist who submits work to various publishers without actually being employed by any of them; a person hired on a part-time or temporary basis to perform tasks for which he has been specially trained. This expression dates from the Middle Ages when, after the Crusades, bands of knights offered their services to any country that was willing to pay. Also known as mercenaries or free companies, these bands were commonly called free-lances in reference to their knightly weapon, the lance. Eventually the term was applied to unaffiliated politicians. In contemporary usage, however, a free-lancer is anyone (though usually a writer) who offers his services on a temporary basis with payment upon completion of the work, as opposed to payment in the form of a salary or retainer.

If they had to rely on the free-lance articles … they could close down tomorrow. (Science News, 1950)

gandy dancer Railroad slang for a section hand or tracklayer. The term, in use as early as 1923, derives from the rhythmic motions of railroad workers who laid tracks with tools made by the now defunct Gandy Manufacturing Company of Chicago.

ghost writer A person who is paid to write a speech, article, or book—particularly an autobiography—for another, usually more famous person who receives and accepts credit for its authorship; a hack writer. This expression alludes to the classic definition of ghost ‘an unseen spirit or being existing among living persons.’ The implication is that though a ghost writer exists, his presence is hidden from the general public; thus, his existence is unknown or unrecognized. A back formation is to ghostwrite or to ghost ‘to write for another who accepts credit for the work.’

The autobiographical baloney ghost-written by Samuel Crowther for Ford … (New Republic, February 10, 1932)

gumshoe A detective, plainclothesman, or police officer; so called from the rubber-soled shoes reputedly worn by those gentlemen in order to assure noiseless movement. Consequently gumshoe can also be used as a verb meaning ‘to move silently; to sneak, skulk, or pussyfoot.’

ink-slinger A disparaging appellation for a writer, especially one who writes for his livelihood; also ink-jerker, -spiller, or -shedder. The reference is probably to a newspaper writer under such pressure to finish an article by a specified deadline that he “slings” the ink onto the paper without regard for the quality of writing. This American slang term dates from the latter half of the 19th century. The noun ink-slinging appeared in The Spectator (November, 1896):

There is … no picturesque ink-slinging, as the happy American phrase goes.

pencil pusher An office worker who does a considerable amount of writing. This U.S. slang term is a disparaging comment on the lack of productive labor in office work. The phrase also implies that such work is menial and mechanical.

The number of pencil pushers and typists has increased in the past 25 years out of proportion to the increase in factory workers. (Sam Dawson, AP wire story, July 9, 1952)

sawbones A surgeon; any doctor. The allusion in this term is gruesomely obvious.

“What, don’t you know what a Sawbones is, sir,” enquired Mr. Weller; “I thought every body know’d as a Sawbones was a surgeon.” (Charles Dickens, Pickwick Papers, 1837)

shrink A psychiatrist or psychoanalyst. This derogatory expression is a shortening of headshrinker, which may have been coined by analogy to the primitive tribal custom, practised by medicine men, of shrinking a decapitated head by removing the skull and stuffing the skin with hot sand.

You talk like one of those head-shrinkers—a psychiatrist. (S. McNeil, High-Pressure Girl, 1957)

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.occupation - the principal activity in your life that you do to earn moneyoccupation - the principal activity in your life that you do to earn money; "he's not in my line of business"
activity - any specific behavior; "they avoided all recreational activity"
confectionery - the occupation and skills of a confectioner
sport - the occupation of athletes who compete for pay
farming, land - agriculture considered as an occupation or way of life; "farming is a strenuous life"; "there's no work on the land any more"
biz, game - your occupation or line of work; "he's in the plumbing game"; "she's in show biz"
calling, career, vocation - the particular occupation for which you are trained
employment, work - the occupation for which you are paid; "he is looking for employment"; "a lot of people are out of work"
appointment - the job to which you are (or hope to be) appointed; "he applied for an appointment in the treasury"
berth, billet, post, situation, position, office, place, spot - a job in an organization; "he occupied a post in the treasury"
salt mine, treadmill - a job involving drudgery and confinement
craft, trade - the skilled practice of a practical occupation; "he learned his trade as an apprentice"
profession - an occupation requiring special education (especially in the liberal arts or sciences)
metier, medium - an occupation for which you are especially well suited; "in law he found his true metier"
accountancy, accounting - the occupation of maintaining and auditing records and preparing financial reports for a business
photography - the occupation of taking and printing photographs or making movies
catering - providing food and services
2.occupation - the control of a country by military forces of a foreign poweroccupation - the control of a country by military forces of a foreign power
social control - control exerted (actively or passively) by group action
armed forces, armed services, military, military machine, war machine - the military forces of a nation; "their military is the largest in the region"; "the military machine is the same one we faced in 1991 but now it is weaker"
3.occupation - any activity that occupies a person's attention; "he missed the bell in his occupation with the computer game"
activity - any specific behavior; "they avoided all recreational activity"
4.occupation - the act of occupying or taking possession of a buildingoccupation - the act of occupying or taking possession of a building; "occupation of a building without a certificate of occupancy is illegal"
acquiring, getting - the act of acquiring something; "I envied his talent for acquiring"; "he's much more interested in the getting than in the giving"
preoccupancy, preoccupation - the act of taking occupancy before someone else does
5.occupation - the period of time during which a place or position or nation is occupied; "during the German occupation of Paris"
period, period of time, time period - an amount of time; "a time period of 30 years"; "hastened the period of time of his recovery"; "Picasso's blue period"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. job, work, calling, business, line (of work), office, trade, position, post, career, situation, activity, employment, craft, profession, pursuit, vocation, livelihood, walk of life I was looking for an occupation which would allow me to travel.
2. hobby, pastime, diversion, relaxation, sideline, leisure pursuit, (leisure) activity Hang-gliding is a dangerous occupation.
3. invasion, seizure, conquest, incursion, subjugation, foreign rule the deportation of Jews from Paris during the German occupation
4. occupancy, use, residence, holding, control, possession, tenure, tenancy, habitation, inhabitancy She is seeking an order for `sole use and occupation' of the house.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


1. Activity pursued as a livelihood:
Slang: racket.
Archaic: employ.
2. The holding of something, such as a position:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
إحْتِلالإشْغال المَنْزِلاحْتِلَالٌمِهْنَةٌمِهْنَه، عَمَل
nghề nghiệpsự chiếm đóng


[ˌɒkjʊˈpeɪʃən] N
1. (= employment) → empleo m, profesión f
what is his occupation?¿cuál es su profesión?
he's a joiner by occupationes carpintero de profesión
it gives occupation to 50 menemplea a 50 hombres, proporciona empleo a 50 hombres
2. (= pastime) → pasatiempo m
a harmless enough occupationun pasatiempo inocente
this will give some occupation to your mindesto te mantendrá la mente ocupada
3. (Mil etc) → ocupación f
army of occupationejército m de ocupación
the occupation of Parisla ocupación de París
under (military) occupationocupado por el ejército
4. [of house etc] → tenencia f
to be in occupationocupar
we found them already in occupationvimos que ya se habían instalado allí
the house is ready for occupationla casa está lista para habitar
a house unfit for occupationuna casa inhabitable, una casa carente de las condiciones mínimas de habitabilidad
5. [of post, office] → tenencia f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˌɒkjʊˈpeɪʃən] n
(= job) → profession f
everyone, irrespective of age, sex or occupation → tout le monde, sans distinction d'âge, de sexe ou de profession
(= way of spending time) → occupation f
Riding was her favourite occupation → L'équitation était son occupation favorite.
[country, building] (by troops, attackers)occupation f
[house] → habitation f
unfit for occupation [house] → impropre à l'habitation
to be in multiple occupation [house] → être destiné à l'habitation collective
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(= employment)Beruf m, → Tätigkeit f; what is his occupation?was ist er von Beruf?, welche Tätigkeit übt er aus?; he is a teacher by occupationer ist Lehrer von Beruf
(= pastime)Beschäftigung f, → Betätigung f, → Tätigkeit f
(Mil) → Okkupation f; (= act)Besetzung f(of von), Okkupation f(of von); army of occupationBesatzungsarmee f
(of house etc)Besetzung f; to be in occupation of a houseein Haus bewohnen; ready for occupationbezugsfertig, schlüsselfertig; we found them already in occupationwir sahen, dass sie schon eingezogen waren
adjBesatzungs-, Okkupations-; occupation troopsBesatzungs- or Okkupationstruppen pl
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˌɒkjʊˈpeɪʃn] n
a. (job) → mestiere m, professione f; (pastime) → occupazione f
he's a joiner by occupation → è falegname di mestiere
b. (gen) (Mil) → occupazione f
army of occupation → esercito d'occupazione
the occupation of Paris → l'occupazione di Parigi
the house is ready for occupation → la casa è pronta per essere abitata
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ˈokjupai) verb
1. to be in or fill (time, space etc). A table occupied the centre of the room.
2. to live in. The family occupied a small flat.
3. to capture. The soldiers occupied the town.
ˈoccupant noun
a person who occupies (a house etc), not necessarily the owner of the house.
ˌoccuˈpation noun
1. a person's job or work.
2. the act of occupying (a house, town etc).
3. the period of time during which a town, house etc is occupied. During the occupation, there was a shortage of food.
ˌoccuˈpational adjective
of, or caused by, a person's job. an occupational disease.
ˈoccupier noun
an occupant.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


احْتِلَالٌ, مِهْنَةٌ okupace, zaměstnání beskæftigelse, okkupation Beruf, Inbesitznahme ενασχόληση, κατάληψη ocupación ammatti, miehitys métier, occupation okupacija, zanimanje lavoro, occupazione 占領, 職業 점령, 직업 beroep, bezetting okkupasjon, yrke okupacja, zawód invasão, profissão оккупация, род занятий ockupation, yrke การยึดครอง, อาชีพ işgal, meslek nghề nghiệp, sự chiếm đóng 占领, 职业
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


n. ocupación, trabajo, profesión, oficio;
___ neurosisneurosis del trabajo, de la profesión.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


n ocupación f, trabajo
English-Spanish/Spanish-English Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
I resolved to be off forthwith, and try and establish myself in some decent occupation, without dancing attendance any longer upon the caprices of these eccentric old people, and running the risk of being made a genius of in the end.
From this day natural philosophy, and particularly chemistry, in the most comprehensive sense of the term, became nearly my sole occupation. I read with ardour those works, so full of genius and discrimination, which modern inquirers have written on these subjects.
From the selling of quack medicines he had proceeded to the adulterating of foreign wines, varied by lucrative evening occupation in the Paris gambling houses.
For four hours Adrienne sat bending over her toil, deeply engrossed in the occupation, and flattering herself with the fruits of her success.
In the windows of some, there were green plants, which were trained to shade the glass; in all, there was as much fresh air, cleanliness, and comfort, as the nature of the occupation would possibly admit of.
The "calls" to preach, I am glad to say, are not nearly so numerous now as they were formerly, and the calls to some industrial occupation are growing more numerous.
After a few minutes only of this occupation, she grew weary of it, and decided on leaving the trunks as they were, until the next morning.
A week afterwards she came in one evening from an unavailing search for some light occupation in the immediate neighbourhood.
Yet he had to live and to find occupation. It was too dreadful to be under the burden of these insoluble problems, so he abandoned himself to any distraction in order to forget them.
I am happy, happy in her love, but I must have occupation. I have found occupation, and am proud of what I am doing and consider it nobler than the pursuits of my former companions at court and in the army.
It may be the character of his mind, to be always in singular need of occupation. That may be, in part, natural to it; in part, the result of affliction.
I should then be a member of the best club by right, and should find my occupation in continually respecting myself.