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Preoccupation   Listen
noun
Preoccupation  n.  
1.
The act of preoccupying, or taking possession of beforehand; the state of being preoccupied; prepossession.
2.
Anticipation of objections. (R.)






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Preoccupation" Quotes from Famous Books



... is like a surfeit of lobster—mental indigestion follows and the victim blames the lobster (i. e., life) instead of his own inordinate appetite. Throughout Kubin's work I detect traces of spleen, hatred of life, delight in hideous cruelty, a predisposition to obscurity and a too-exclusive preoccupation with sex; indeed, sex looms largest in the consciousness of ...
— Ivory Apes and Peacocks • James Huneker

... money's a temptation to the evilly disposed. I think you said your address was San Francisco. I shall endeavor to call." It may be stated here that Tennessee had a fine flow of humor, which no business preoccupation could wholly subdue. ...
— Selected Stories • Bret Harte

... eagerness of attention, shared as it was, although not to the same extent perhaps, by the rest of Gerald's auditory, was only remarkable in Miss Montgomerie, in as much as she was one of too much mental preoccupation to feel or betray interest in any thing, and it might have been the risk encountered by her lover, and the share he had borne in the mysterious occurrence, that now caused her to lapse from her wonted inaccessibility to ...
— The Canadian Brothers - or The Prophecy Fulfilled • John Richardson

... natural history, a poor despised science, almost unknown, no one dreamed of it, and no one learned or taught it; the syllabus ignored it, because it led to nothing. For Fabre only, notwithstanding, it was his fixed idea, his constant preoccupation, and "while the dictation class was busy around him, he would examine, in the secrecy of his desk, the sting of a wasp or the fruit of the oleander," and intoxicate himself with poetry. (1/9.) His pedagogic studies suffered thereby, and the first part ...
— Fabre, Poet of Science • Dr. G.V. (C.V.) Legros

... There was also a reference to the new law for a return to three years' service which France was introducing to improve the efficiency of her peace establishment. But it was obvious that Russia was the main preoccupation. Germany had forced the pace both in the aggrandizement of her military strength and in the methods of her diplomatic intercourse. Suddenly she found herself on the brink of an abyss. She had gone too far; she had provoked into the competition of armaments a Power as far superior to Germany ...
— Why We Are At War (2nd Edition, revised) • Members of the Oxford Faculty of Modern History

... and her brother had gone, he made short work of his breakfast, and drank his coffee at a gulp. A restless activity suddenly informed his movements. He lit a cigar, and began pacing up and down the room, biting his lips in preoccupation as he went. After a little, he opened a window, and ventured cautiously as far out on the balcony as was necessary to obtain a view of the street below. Eventually, he identified his nephew and niece among the pedestrians beneath him, and he kept them in sight till, after more than ...
— The Market-Place • Harold Frederic

... founded a number of years ago, long before the events of the fatal year 1919 and the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution. The incident of this afternoon may have caused you to think that what is vulgarly called booze is the chief preoccupation of our society. That is not so. We were organized at first simply to bring merriment and good cheer into the lives of those who have found the vexations of modern life too trying. In our early days we carried on an excellent (though unsystematic) ...
— In the Sweet Dry and Dry • Christopher Morley

... to add, sir, before you go," said Douglas, asserting himself desperately against Conolly's absolutely sincere disregard of him and preoccupation with Marian, "that Mrs. Conolly has been placed in her present position entirely through her own conduct. I repudiate the insinuation that I have deserted her in a foreign city; and I challenge inquiry ...
— The Irrational Knot - Being the Second Novel of His Nonage • George Bernard Shaw

... of impressions, his intense preoccupation with present dangers and future contingencies, the thought of Natalie floated now and then vaguely but comfortingly. He had seen her for a moment, before leaving—barely long enough to explain the nature of his mission—but her quick concern, her unvoiced anxiety, had been very pleasant, ...
— The Iron Trail • Rex Beach

... strict, perhaps, but when a master has to manage two thousand operatives, he must be somewhat of a disciplinarian. Is not that so, Clarisse?" and the old man turned to his wife, who, seemingly occupied with her dinner, paid no attention to him. A certain preoccupation was very evident. ...
— Jack - 1877 • Alphonse Daudet

... carefully excluding from it all useless, distracting thoughts as to past, present, or future; all preoccupation over some pet employment; all desire to be known, ...
— Gold Dust - A Collection of Golden Counsels for the Sanctification of Daily Life • E. L. E. B.

... order to strike into a land rich in the comforts of life; but in such a land they were sure to find a crowded population, of which every arm was raised in unrelenting hostility, with all the advantages of local knowledge, and with constant preoccupation of all the defensible positions, mountain passes, or bridges. Sometimes, again, wearied out with this mode of suffering, they took a circuit of perhaps a hundred miles, in order to strike into a land with few or no inhabitants. But in such a land they were ...
— Narrative And Miscellaneous Papers • Thomas De Quincey

... dark or distressing or ill-omened. But still, but still—we have seen Milly when she believed herself unseen, and it is certain that there is more in her mind than now appears, and though she seems so full of the new excitement of making friends with Kate Croy there must be some preoccupation beneath; and then, in a flash, these are the troubles that engage her in solitude, that have ached in her mind, and yet there has never been a single direct allusion to them. Skirting round and round them, giving one brief sight of her in eloquent circumstances, ...
— The Craft of Fiction • Percy Lubbock

... imagination in certain directions, of which no very obvious explanation is discoverable. Thus, we sometimes find our minds dwelling on some absent friend, without being able to give any reason for this mental preoccupation. And in this way arise strong temporary leanings to illusory perception. It may be said, indeed, that all unwonted activity of the imagination, however it arises, has as its immediate result a temporary mode of expectation, definite or indefinite, ...
— Illusions - A Psychological Study • James Sully

... bright color of the world to Paul—his sister's recent engagement to their uncle's partner in the iron works, a very prosperous, young-old bachelor of fifty-odd, whose intense preoccupation with business had never been pierced by any consciousness of the other sex until Madeleine had, as she proclaimed in her own vernacular, "taken a club to him." It was a very brilliant match for her, and justified her own prophecy concerning herself that she was not to be satisfied with any old-fashioned, ...
— The Squirrel-Cage • Dorothy Canfield

... the weeks that followed, if the mask were indeed only the steady preoccupation that his visage wore, she seemed to learn nothing more about him when his features lost their dark absorption and he caught her eye and smiled. No, the smile revealed nothing except another mask under the more serious cast ...
— Between Friends • Robert W. Chambers

... scrutinized any one who passed near the silent, smokeless forges, but in my mind, you must understand, such impressions came and went irregularly; they made a moving background, changing undertones, to my preoccupation by that darkly shaping purpose to which a revolver was so imperative ...
— In the Days of the Comet • H. G. Wells

... was a promenade, a banquet, a comedy to be acted, and a comedy, too, in which, to his great amazement, Porthos recognized "M. Coquelin de Voliere" as one of the actors, in the piece called "Les Facheux." Full of preoccupation, however, from the scene of the previous evening, and hardly recovered from the effects of the poison which Colbert had then administered to him, the king, during the whole of the day, so brilliant in its effects, so full of unexpected and startling novelties, in which all the wonders of ...
— The Man in the Iron Mask • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... his chief preoccupation was identical with that which absorbed his mother's thoughts. He wished to free himself from the business in which he was so deeply involved, and which still prospered so strangely in spite of the general ruin. But here the community of ideas ended. ...
— Don Orsino • F. Marion Crawford

... would have ended, if that tableau hadn't gone smash, with a sudden offstage clatter and thump and cry which reminded me there were more people in the world than Chaddie McKail and her philandering old husband. For during that interregnum of parental preoccupation Dinkie and Poppsy had essayed to toboggan down the lower half of the front-stairs in an empty drawer commandeered from my bedroom dresser. Their descent, apparently, had been about as precipitate as that of their equally adventurous sire down the treads of my respect, for ...
— The Prairie Child • Arthur Stringer

... an old-fashioned adjective which describes better than any other this preoccupation with things, which so often prevents a woman's coming to an understanding of the heart of her Business. It is old maidish. It has often been the pathetic fate of single women to live alone. To minister to themselves becomes their occupation. The force of their ...
— The Business of Being a Woman • Ida M. Tarbell

... hard; he was not irritated; all trace of vexed preoccupation was gone; but he was not the Sir Hugh that she had seen for all these twenty years. He was new, and yet he reminded her of something, and the memory moved towards her through a thick mist of years, ...
— Amabel Channice • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... were the outcome of a millennium of experience with the Crusades and extending to the present century. They are the outcome of preoccupation with material incentives that can be stated in two ...
— Civilization and Beyond - Learning From History • Scott Nearing

... Aristotle's. Foreign to every mechanistic idea, not even conceiving the possibility of an explanation, science would have enquired into, instead of dismissing a priori facts, such as those which you study; perhaps 'psychical research' would have stood out as its principal preoccupation. The most general laws of mental activity once discovered (as, in fact, the fundamental laws of mechanics were discovered), we should have passed from mind, properly so-called, to life; biology would have been constituted, but a vitalist ...
— The Unknown Guest • Maurice Maeterlinck

... before Charley got away. Out of the brilliantly lighted rooms he walked, stunned with grief, and a little heavy with the wine and punch he had drunk, for in his preoccupation of mind he had forgotten to be as cautious as usual. Following an impulse, he took a car and went directly downtown, and then made his way to Huckleberry Street. He stopped at a saloon door and asked if they could tell him where ...
— Duffels • Edward Eggleston

... was the daughter of the ranch superintendent, and occasionally assisted her mother in this culinary supervision—which did not, however, bring her into any familiar association with the men. Even the younger ones, perhaps from over-consciousness of their inferior position or the preoccupation of their labor, never indulged in any gallantry toward her, and he himself, in his revulsion of feeling against the whole sex, had scarcely noticed that she was good-looking. But this naive exhibition of preference could ...
— A Protegee of Jack Hamlin's and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... November) and not thawing again until the beginning of March, and that, in the house where I was born, we had the fall of snow so heavy that we could tunnel the path to the barn, the drift covering the door of the house. The coming of spring was my constant preoccupation through the winter, and my joy was intense at the first swelling of the buds, the coming color in the willow twigs, which ushered in the changes of spring; then the catkins, the willow leaves, and the long rains which carried off the snow, all welcome as daylight after a weary night, because they ...
— The Autobiography of a Journalist, Volume I • Stillman, William James

... the preoccupation of his master's scowling brow and grim-set mouth, and, clutching a soft handful of ...
— The Definite Object - A Romance of New York • Jeffery Farnol

... for the poor, and secondly, some fairer adjustment of the relations to each other of capital and labor. As to the first, authority has already sanctioned her opinion; the second question, if unsettled, has become a first preoccupation with statesmen and philosophers of all denominations in ...
— Famous Women: George Sand • Bertha Thomas

... well illustrates the unconscious reaction of new concepts upon conduct. Preoccupation with the problems of space hyper-dimensionality cannot fail to produce profound changes in our ethical outlook upon life and in our attitude towards our fellow beings. The nature of these changes it is not ...
— Four-Dimensional Vistas • Claude Fayette Bragdon

... I had quite forgotten it." And he put down the pipe with evident reluctance. "Such is the power of preoccupation." ...
— The Mayor of Warwick • Herbert M. Hopkins

... detained in Paris. The events of the twenty-eighth of June at Serajevo were of deep moment to him, and it was not until the second week in July that he arrived at the Ritz, full of profound preoccupation. ...
— The Price of Things • Elinor Glyn

... materials of study than to its intellectual results." The Rector of Giessen sees in the diffuse style of German scholars and in the bitterness of their polemical writings an effect of the habit they have contracted of "excessive preoccupation with little things."[118] In the same year the same note was sounded, at the University of Bale, by Herr J. v. Pflugk-Harttung. "The highest branches of historical science are despised," says this author in his Geschichtsbetrachtungen[119]: "all that is valued is microscopic observations and absolute ...
— Introduction to the Study of History • Charles V. Langlois

... dramatic way.) She couldn't let Eagle alone; and she showed her feelings so plainly—as a very rich girl sometimes thinks she may do with a comparatively poor man—that even Eagle himself, despite his lack of self-conceit and his preoccupation with thoughts of Di, couldn't help understanding. He kept out of Milly's way as often as he could, but she attributed this retirement to the calls of duty; and at last began to behave so foolishly that for her own sake he gently ...
— Secret History Revealed By Lady Peggy O'Malley • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... coquetry, against which her cousin's vanity was without means of defence. The child's presence deprived Germinie of all hope of repose. Mere girl as she was, she wounded her every minute in the day by her presence, her touch, her caresses, everything in her amorous body that spoke of love. Her preoccupation with Jupillon, the work that kept them constantly together, the provincial wonderment that she constantly exhibited, the half-confidences she allowed to come to her lips when the young man had gone, her gayety, her jests, her healthy good-humor—everything helped to ...
— Germinie Lacerteux • Edmond and Jules de Goncourt

... should feel as if my country had spoken through the voice of my officer. I should feel proud and honored to be able to serve my country by obeying its commands. No thought of self—no vulgar preoccupation with my own petty vanity could touch my mind at such a moment. To me my officer would not be a mere man: he would be for the moment—whatever his personal frailties—the incarnation of ...
— Press Cuttings • George Bernard Shaw

... Her preoccupation continued as they crossed the square; her movements were listless. Maurice's thoughts went back to a similar night, a year ago, when, for the first time, he had walked at her side: it had been just such a warm, lilac-scented ...
— Maurice Guest • Henry Handel Richardson

... molded, and well hung to his body; his hands were beautiful, and the nails did not detract from their beauty. He took the greatest care of them, as in fact of his whole person, without foppishness, however. He often bit his nails slightly, which was a sign of impatience or preoccupation. ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... preoccupation and the quick, dexterous movement of her hands she could feel her pity tightening her throat: pity that hurt like love, that was delicious and exquisite like love. Nothing mattered, nothing existed in her mind but the three ...
— The Romantic • May Sinclair

... the preoccupation of the bereaved monks (VG) is in keeping with other traditions of that peppery saint. The resurrection of Ciaran after three days is another touch in imitation of the Gospel story: it is, however, also told of Saint ...
— The Latin & Irish Lives of Ciaran - Translations Of Christian Literature. Series V. Lives Of - The Celtic Saints • Anonymous

... had, however, a common preoccupation. Should we remain in style? We were nearly all startling, risky, and loud—so much so that we were quite anxious, except three or four quiet dresses, velvet and dark cloth dresses, who joined in the chorus with the old laces, and ...
— Parisian Points of View • Ludovic Halevy

... of his heart were bestowed on few; for in early life they had never been cultivated, but they were singularly warm, pure, and constant; characterized not by the ardour of passion, but by the constant preoccupation of real affection. He had lost his mother, to whom he was fondly attached, early in life; and with his father, a man of coarse feelings and boisterous manners, he had few sentiments in common. Always feeble in constitution, he was unequal to the sports ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 1 • Horace Walpole

... church architecture. In the North and West, meanwhile, under the growing institutions of the papacy and of the monastic orders and the emergence of a feudal civilization out of the chaos of the Dark Ages, the constant preoccupation of architecture was to evolve from the basilica type of church a vaulted structure, and to adorn it throughout with an appropriate dress of constructive and symbolic ornament. Gothic architecture was the outcome of this preoccupation, and it prevailed throughout northern and western ...
— A Text-Book of the History of Architecture - Seventh Edition, revised • Alfred D. F. Hamlin

... for guidance in sex matters is acute and universal. The relief and assistance which many boys have experienced from correspondence with me, and the interest which I find in their letters have caused me—spite of the extreme preoccupation of a strenuous life—to issue a special invitation to those who may feel ...
— Youth and Sex • Mary Scharlieb and F. Arthur Sibly

... torpid face lighted now by a speciously amiable expression. The carpets had dulled his steps and the preoccupation of the two sisters had kept them from noticing the noise of his carriage-wheels on entering the court-yard. The countess, in whom the habits of social life and the freedom in which her husband had left her had ...
— A Daughter of Eve • Honore de Balzac

... gone Carey roused himself from his preoccupation, and concentrated his thoughts upon his correspondence. He was leaving England in two days, and travelling to the East on a solitary shooting expedition. He did not review the prospect with much ...
— The Tidal Wave and Other Stories • Ethel May Dell

... affection, which yesterday morning I could still do de vive voix. It was indeed a happy time; I only fear that I was a dull companion—silent, absent, stupid, which I feel I have become since the War; and the constant anxiety and preoccupation which that odious Sebastopol causes me and my dear, brave Army, added to which the last week, or indeed the whole fortnight since we arrived here, was one of such uncertainty about this tiresome scarlatina, that it made me ...
— The Letters of Queen Victoria, Volume III (of 3), 1854-1861 • Queen of Great Britain Victoria

... the door and coming toward me, with one of her old smiles, and not a trace of preoccupation about her, "I suppose you expect me to devote ...
— Rudder Grange • Frank R. Stockton

... pool; we could not save him, but chance had made it easy to succor the one man who could bring me sorrow in his necessity. Then, as I struggled to shake off the feeling of sullen resentment, Ormond perhaps noticed my preoccupation, for he remarked: ...
— Lorimer of the Northwest • Harold Bindloss

... Holden's problem. But during dinner his personal problem slipped aside because he discovered another slight change in Janet Fisher's attitude. He puzzled over it quietly, but managed to eat without any apparent preoccupation. Dinner took about a half hour, after which they spent another fifteen minutes over coffee, with Janet refusing her second cup. She disappeared at the first shuffle of a foot under the table, while James and Martha ...
— The Fourth R • George Oliver Smith

... result it will be seen that the single preoccupation of this learned society was the destruction of humanity philanthropically, and the perfecting of firearms considered as instruments of civilisation. It was a company of Exterminating Angels, at bottom the best ...
— The Moon-Voyage • Jules Verne

... intellect is clear and unwavering; but the heart clings to old traditions, and steadies itself on the rock of duty. His Calvinistic training lingers long in him; and what detaches him from the Hegelian school, with which he has much in common, is his own stronger sense of personal need, his preoccupation with the idea of "sin." "He speaks," says M. Renan contemptuously, "of sin, of salvation, of redemption, and conversion, as if these things were realities. He asks me 'What does M. Renan make of sin?' Eh bien, je crois que je le supprime." But it ...
— Amiel's Journal • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... been tolerably schooled by this time to the "foreign ways" of his hosts. Mrs. Moreen was ardent, and when she was ardent she didn't care what she did; so she now sat down on his bed, his clothes being on the chairs, and, in her preoccupation, forgot, as she glanced round, to be ashamed of giving him such a horrid room. What Mrs. Moreen's ardour now bore upon was the design of persuading him that in the first place she was very good-natured to bring him fifty francs, and that in the second, if ...
— The Pupil • Henry James

... compare the attitude of the two girls at this time, when the failure or success of his best work was still undecided. He felt that as Helen took so little interest in his success he could not dare to trouble her with his anxieties concerning it, and she attributed his silence to his preoccupation and interest in Marion. So the two grew apart, each misunderstanding the other and each troubled in spirit at the ...
— The Exiles and Other Stories • Richard Harding Davis

... time when he gave up this task till his death in 1864 Mr. Dilke's life had one all-engrossing preoccupation—the training of his grandson Charles. But to the last, literary research employed him. In 1849 he helped to establish Notes and Queries 'to be a paper in which literary men could answer each other's questions'; and his contributions to this paper [Footnote: Its ...
— The Life of the Rt. Hon. Sir Charles W. Dilke V1 • Stephen Gwynn

... another, it is necessary to frame a theory to explain how they get into connection with each other so that valid knowledge may result. This problem, with the allied one of the possibility of the world acting upon the mind and the mind acting upon the world, became almost the exclusive preoccupation of philosophic thought. ...
— Democracy and Education • John Dewey

... But the preoccupation of practical action, coming between reality and ourselves, produces the fragmentary world of common-sense, much as an absorbing medium resolves into separate rays the continuous spectrum of a luminous ...
— A New Philosophy: Henri Bergson • Edouard le Roy

... whirlpool of her vivid, physical personality. Before her the memory of his wife faded into insignificance. But there was no mere retrospect in the considering of Essie; very much alive she presented, outside the Penny iron, the one serious preoccupation, complication, ...
— The Three Black Pennys - A Novel • Joseph Hergesheimer

... out with him. He would speak plainly and explain the English point of view. Doro would no doubt attack him on the ground of his interview with Maria Fortunata. He did not care. Somehow his present preoccupation with Hermione's fate, increased by the visit of Gaspare, rendered his irritation against the Marchesino less keen than it had been. But he thought he would probably visit the island to-night—after another visit which he intended to pay. He could not start ...
— A Spirit in Prison • Robert Hichens

... I set off in the dusk of evening to ride back to Shrewsbury. I rode slowly, my mind being filled with forebodings, and I was only roused from my preoccupation by the sudden appearance of a horseman at the turning of a byroad leading from Bridgenorth. He was riding rapidly, and we both reined up at the same moment to avoid a collision. And at that moment my heart leapt with furious exultation as, in the fading light, I recognized my old enemy, and ...
— Humphrey Bold - A Story of the Times of Benbow • Herbert Strang

... garden in the course of our stroll through the town the night before. We had said, How charming it would be to draw money in such an environment; and full of the romantic expectation, I offered my letter at the window, where after a discreet interval I managed to call from their preoccupation some unoccupied persons within. They had not a very financial air, and I thought them the porters they really were, with some fear that I had come after banking-hours. But they joined in reassuring me, and ...
— Familiar Spanish Travels • W. D. Howells

... crushed against a swinging door, which, giving way to his pressure, disclosed to his wondering eyes a long, glitteringly adorned, and brightly lit room, densely filled with a silent, attentive throng in attitudes of decorous abstraction and preoccupation, that even the shouts and tumult at its very doors could not disturb. Men of all ranks and conditions, plainly or elaborately clad, were grouped together under this magic spell of silence and attention. The tables before them were covered with cards and loose heaps ...
— A Waif of the Plains • Bret Harte

... furrowed face and he kept them fastened upon Greaves's store. Blue, likewise, had a somber cast of countenance, not, perhaps, any darker nor grimmer than those of his comrades, but more representative of intense preoccupation of mind. The look of him thrilled Jean, who could sense its deadliness, yet could not grasp any more. Altogether, the manner of the villagers and the watchful pacing to and fro of the Jorth followers and the ...
— To the Last Man • Zane Grey

... upon her hair as it prepared to charge. Charge it did and in those close quarters there was no room to fence for openings. Instantly the two beasts locked in deadly embrace, each seeking the other's throat. Pan-at-lee watched, taking no advantage of the opportunity to escape which their preoccupation gave her. She watched and waited, for into her savage little brain had come the resolve to pin her faith to this strange creature who had unlocked her heart with those four words—"I am Om-at's friend!" And so she waited, with drawn knife, ...
— Tarzan the Terrible • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... the prose of Chaucer than there is between that of More and of Ruskin. But it is not till the seventeenth century that the modern spirit, in the fullest sense of the word, comes into being. Defined it means a spirit of observation, of preoccupation with detail, of stress laid on matter of fact, of analysis of feelings and mental processes, of free argument upon institutions and government. In relation to knowledge, it is the spirit of science, and the study of science, which is the essential intellectual fact in modern history, dates ...
— English Literature: Modern - Home University Library Of Modern Knowledge • G. H. Mair

... may ask, do I dwell on all this? It is because these are the true Advent voices for us, coming as they do to rouse us out of narrow preoccupation, to open our eyes to the sinfulness of sin, to make us feel that the self-centred, isolated, self-seeking life is a life of a low type, and to stir us with social and religious ...
— Sermons at Rugby • John Percival

... did not imagine that he felt as you seem to think. Indeed, in my happiness and preoccupation, I have scarcely thought of him at all. His love has, in truth, been unobtrusive. So scrupulously has he kept it from my notice that I had thought and hoped that it had but little place in his mind. But ...
— A Knight Of The Nineteenth Century • E. P. Roe

... fireplace, muttering French phrases in humorous imitation of her grace. Observing the King's preoccupation, she tossed a ...
— Mistress Nell - A Merry Tale of a Merry Time • George C. Hazelton, Jr.

... outcry of laughter, for as the gentlemen had kneeled and bent their heads, and the flowers had risen to greet the sun,—Faith, in her amusement and preoccupation had sat still. She rose now, blushing a ...
— Say and Seal, Volume II • Susan Warner

... woman, always dominated by an air of serious preoccupation, sumptuously, but not tastefully dressed. In the social struggle upwards, wealth was the only weapon she possessed, and wealth without dexterity has been known to fail before this. She made efforts, indeed, to imitate Mrs. ...
— The Cook's Decameron: A Study in Taste: - Containing Over Two Hundred Recipes For Italian Dishes • Mrs. W. G. Waters

... is assuming a grave responsibility before the country in deciding to be disinterested in the struggle. The keen popular awakening which is manifested in demonstrations, meetings, and public discussions shows that growing preoccupation and varied uneasiness will not cease so long as the fate of the country is not decided at the right time by men who by temperament are best fitted to be interpreters of the soul and the ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 2, May, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... a shopkeeper's without incurring the least possible risk of being deceived by him in the sum she would have to pay, he entered the mosque with his thoughts occupied on the subject, and he there struck against a pillar, which his preoccupation hindered him from perceiving. The violence of the shock threw him on his back, ...
— A Boswell of Baghdad - With Diversions • E. V. Lucas

... tell each other who was decently dressed, and who stepped awkwardly into the boats, and what the price of my boots was!' Such exclamations, murmured at intervals, and followed by chest-drawn sighs, expressed a deep preoccupation. With regard to his boots, he need have had no anxiety. They were of the shiniest patent leather, much too tight, and without a speck of dust upon them. But his nervousness infected me with a cruel dread. All ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece • John Addington Symonds

... stood there under a dim street light consulting his timepiece, there came to his ears out of the darkness just ahead, a voice, a rich and throaty tenor, singing softly. The sweet sounds pierced his preoccupation. He looked, and some thirty or forty paces distant perceived a gnome-like figure perched atop a fire hydrant, at ...
— Fire Mountain - A Thrilling Sea Story • Norman Springer

... lead, lye (sodium hydroxide), strychnine, arsenic, mercury, creosote, sodium phosphate, opium, cocaine and other illegal, poisonous or corrosive items. Many recipes do not specify if it is to be taken internally or topically (on the skin). There is an extreme preoccupation with poultices (applied to the skin, 324 references) and "keeping the bowels open" (1498 references, ...
— Mother's Remedies - Over One Thousand Tried and Tested Remedies from Mothers - of the United States and Canada • T. J. Ritter

... He was silent as she opened it. She noted his preoccupation, his gray eyes looking off to the ...
— Amanda - A Daughter of the Mennonites • Anna Balmer Myers

... necessity for another one and another one not being used to hearing shows no ordinary use of any evening and yet there is no disgrace in looking, none at all. This came to separate when there was simple selection of an entire preoccupation. ...
— Tender Buttons - Objects—Food—Rooms • Gertrude Stein

... soul. Daily reading and study of the Scriptures, with much prayer, especially in the early morning hours, was strenuously urged. Quietness before God should be habitually cultivated, calming the mind and freeing it from preoccupation. Continuous reading of the Word, in course, will throw light upon the general teaching of the Word, and reveal God's thoughts in their variety and connection, and go far to correct ...
— George Muller of Bristol - His Witness to a Prayer-Hearing God • Arthur T. Pierson

... material aspect of our epoch and how it is likely to be regarded in the future, when the paradise of ideal living is regained, a modern writer says: "Will not the intense preoccupation of material production, the hurry and strain of our cities, the draining of life into one channel, at the expense of breadth, richness, and beauty, appear as mad as the Crusades, and perhaps of a lower type of madness? Could anything ...
— A Fleece of Gold - Five Lessons from the Fable of Jason and the Golden Fleece • Charles Stewart Given

... from preoccupation very effectually. The colour flamed in her face. "Burke! I don't understand you!" she said, speaking quickly and rather breathlessly, for her heart was beating fast and hard. "Have you ...
— The Top of the World • Ethel M. Dell

... most difficult but with a deliberate effort of will he accomplished it to his satisfaction. His secret thoughts he buried beneath a continuous mental preoccupation with the vain and the trivial. It was important to the success of his plan that his companions ...
— The Man from Time • Frank Belknap Long

... Robina came home; and the former was half suspicious, half jealous, of Lance's preoccupation with what he chose to denominate 'a black Yankee nigger.' He avoided the room himself, and kept Lance from it as much as was in his power; and one day Lance appeared with a black eye, of which he concealed the cause so entirely, that Felix, always afraid of his gamin tendencies, entreated Fulbert, ...
— The Pillars of the House, V1 • Charlotte M. Yonge

... from the sound in his voice, that she was, in her preoccupation with her own affairs, forgetting one of the principal elements in the whole case, his love for ...
— The Cathedral • Hugh Walpole

... man rose with something like alacrity. He banished his slight frown of preoccupation and hastened to replace it by an expression of—so ...
— With the Procession • Henry B. Fuller

... angry, he did not know why. His whole body was longing to do something strong, eager, even violent. He hated his latchkey, he hated the long stroll in Hyde Park, the absurd delay upon the bridge, his preoccupation with the Muscovy duck, or whatever bird it was, voyaging over the Serpentine. Why had nothing told him not to lose a moment but to hurry home? He remembered that he had been specially reluctant to leave Rosamund that evening, that he had even said to her, "I don't know why it is, but this evening ...
— In the Wilderness • Robert Hichens

... and less to depend upon, extravagant incident, violent peripeteias, cheap supernaturalities, etc. But the most important thing about them perhaps is the evidence they give of learning what has been called their "business." Already, to a great extent if not wholly, that earliest obsession and preoccupation of the novelist—the idle anxiety to answer the question, "How do you know all these things?"—has begun to disappear. This is rather less the case with another foolish fancy—the belief that it is necessary ...
— A History of the French Novel, Vol. 2 - To the Close of the 19th Century • George Saintsbury

... rough but not curly; he had a moustache so trifling that one could not be sure whether it was a moustache or whether he had been too busy to think of shaving. Janet received all these facts into her brain, and then carelessly let them all slip out again, in her preoccupation with his eyes. She said they were sad eyes. The mouth, too, was somewhat sad (she thought), but there was a drawing down of the corners of it that seemed to make gentle fun of its sadness. Janet, perhaps out of her good-nature, liked his restless, awkward movements ...
— Clayhanger • Arnold Bennett

... three times in the course of that morning—for she stayed with us all the morning—Fanny Meyrick rallied me on my preoccupation and silence: "He didn't use to be so, Bessie, years ago, I assure you. It's very disagreeable, sir—not an improvement by ...
— On the Church Steps • Sarah C. Hallowell

... out of her weary preoccupation, opened her eyes to see that the driver had halted at a turn of the road, where apparently ...
— The Call of the Canyon • Zane Grey

... thought to any of those matters, he thinks about them since he has felt himself dominated by this singular personage, and Adrian Baker has become, in fact, his fixed idea, his absorbing thought, his unceasing preoccupation, his constant monomania. Berta's father and the housekeeper may very well attribute to him marvellous powers, suggested by their own excited imaginations; but we must not share in those hallucinations, nor are we to conclude from them that Adrian Baker is outside the common law to which ordinary ...
— Stories by Foreign Authors: Spanish • Various

... look of one who listens stamped upon his face. His sharp ears had detected some sound which—perhaps through her preoccupation—she had not noticed. He stepped quickly to the Captain's side, and taking up the lamp by its chain, he leapt into the air like a clown, and came down on his heels with a thud that shook the chamber. Simultaneously ...
— The Trampling of the Lilies • Rafael Sabatini

... Hilliard's preoccupation was different. He was considering in detail his idea that if a close enough watch could be kept on the loading of the syndicate's ship it would at least settle the smuggling question. He did not think that any article could be shipped in sufficient bulk to make the trade ...
— The Pit Prop Syndicate • Freeman Wills Crofts

... a growing discomfort. He ate his dinner and answered the brisk questions of his wife with increasing preoccupation. Like Miss Ware, he was picturing Jim solitary and suffering in his lonely cell. With the utmost sincerity and ...
— The Calico Cat • Charles Miner Thompson

... Spain were more liberal in their colonial policy. Merchant-ships were allowed to sail direct to Chile, trade with France was sometimes permitted, and a large batch of hardy emigrants was sent out from the Biscay provinces of Spain. Freed from the preoccupation of the Indian wars, the governors gave more attention to the general welfare of the country: a university was started in Santiago in 1747, many towns were built about the same time, agriculture and industries were promoted and a coasting trade grew up. In 1778 Charles III. threw open ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 2 - "Chicago, University of" to "Chiton" • Various

... Despite his preoccupation with his errand, which was to find if there were other signs of the continued activity of the strange forces that had lowered the tower through the Fourth Dimension into the dim and unrecorded years ...
— The Runaway Skyscraper • Murray Leinster

... these as possible from returning over the hill. After that they could dress the wounded and make the dying a little more comfortable. For there was no taking the wounded to the rear. They had to remain there in the trench perhaps to be wounded again, spectators of their comrades' valour without the preoccupation of action. ...
— My Year of the War • Frederick Palmer

... well, and thought it was his intense preoccupation that made the distance seem so short. But it was when the Tower was left behind and they turned northwards that he began to notice how altered everything was, and saw that they were in a neighbourhood where houses ...
— Four Weird Tales • Algernon Blackwood

... from that of 1652. As in the latter epoch, the admiral still thinks the weather-gage an advantage for his fleet; but it is no longer, from the tactical point of view, the principal, we might almost say the sole, preoccupation. Now he wishes above all to keep his fleet in good order and compact as long as possible, so as to keep the power of combining, during the action, the movements of the different squadrons. Look at Ruyter, at the end of the Four Days' Fight; with great ...
— The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783 • A. T. Mahan

... perception came upon me with such force, and brought me such emotion, that I dare say for a little while I sat vacantly staring at her, with an air of preoccupation. Anyhow, all at once she laughed, and cried out, 'Well, when you get back...?' and, 'Perhaps,' she questioned, 'perhaps you think it polite to go off wool-gathering like that?' Whereupon I recovered myself with a ...
— Grey Roses • Henry Harland

... his seat, interviewed the clerk at the desk, went out on the terrace, listened in the silence, walked restlessly up and down, and, returning to Diane, enumerated the different possibilities that would reasonably account for the delay. Glad of this preoccupation, since it diverted thought from their more personal relations, she pointed out the wisdom of accepting whatever explanation was least grave until they knew the certainty. When he had gone out several times more, ...
— The Inner Shrine • Basil King

... imagine it hunting about among the roots and fallen leaves for the larvae, caterpillars, spiders, and other insects on which it feeds, it sometimes amuses itself with a simple little song between the hunts. But the bird's indifference, you feel sure, arises from preoccupation ...
— Bird Neighbors • Neltje Blanchan

... back, from mountain to mountain, under the pretext of studying and of sketching nature. I know nothing more enjoyable than that happy-go-lucky wandering life, in which you are perfectly free; without shackles of any kind, without care, without preoccupation, without thought even of to-morrow. You go in any direction you please, without any guide save your fancy, without any counselor save your eyes. You pull up, because a running brook seduces you, or because you are attracted, in front of an inn, by the smell of potatoes frying. Sometimes it is ...
— Selected Writings of Guy de Maupassant • Guy de Maupassant

... him forget his food and neglect his person, to that degree that when he was occasionally carried by absolute violence to bathe, or have his body anointed, he used to trace geometrical figures in the ashes of the fire, and diagrams in the oil on his body, being in a state of entire preoccupation, and, in the truest sense, divine possession with his love and delight in science. His discoveries were numerous and admirable; but he is said to have requested his friends and relations that when he was dead, they would place over his tomb a sphere containing a cylinder, ...
— Plutarch's Lives • A.H. Clough

... all so beautiful in the midst of the watchfulness imprisoning me," she sighed, ever returning to her mild, pathetic preoccupation. ...
— The Inferno • Henri Barbusse

... elected in November, and the great preoccupation of most of the Whigs was, of course, the distribution of the offices which they felt belonged to them as the spoils of battle. This demoralizing doctrine had been promulgated by Jackson, and acted upon for so many years that it was too much to expect of human nature that the Whigs ...
— Abraham Lincoln: A History V1 • John G. Nicolay and John Hay

... voice that forced both other brothers to listen, 'you know, each of you, that father is too busy to look after you; so Mr. Price is set over you, and he is on honour—being a gentleman, you understand—not to take advantage of father's preoccupation to give you such holidays as you have no right to have. Already they say your work is far too light, and I know Mr. Vesey has again and again urged father to send you both to a public school. When the book is done, and sent to the publishers, father ...
— The Captain's Bunk - A Story for Boys • M. B. Manwell

... by warnings from generals in various Home Commands, display an increasing preoccupation with the likelihood of invasion by sea. Mr. Punch naturally inclines to a sceptical attitude, swayed by long adherence to the views of the Blue Water School and the incredulousness of correspondents engaged in guarding likely spots on the East Coast. With runaway raids ...
— Mr. Punch's History of the Great War • Punch

... suggest that perhaps the picture which he had himself set before me of the moral condition of the city of Lille, at least, might be thought to afford some excuse for this preoccupation of the Catholics with the spiritual rather than the ...
— France and the Republic - A Record of Things Seen and Learned in the French Provinces - During the 'Centennial' Year 1889 • William Henry Hurlbert

... appear? Were the myths, say the myths of Daphne, really solar? That is precisely what we hesitate to accept. In the same way Mannhardt's preoccupation with vegetable myths has tended, I think, to make many of his followers ascribe vegetable origins to myths and gods, where the real origin is perhaps for ever lost. The corn-spirit starts up in most unexpected places. Mr. Frazer, Mannhardt's disciple, is very severe on solar theories of Osiris, ...
— Modern Mythology • Andrew Lang

... restraint between the young people. Dick proposed a ride in the afternoon, which was cheerfully accepted by Cecily. Their intercourse apparently recovered its old frankness and freedom, marred only for a moment when they set out on the plain. Dick, really to forget his preoccupation of the morning, turned his horse's head AWAY from the trail, to ride in another direction; but Cecily oddly, and with an exhibition of caprice quite new to her, insisted upon taking the old trail. Nevertheless they met nothing, and soon ...
— The Bell-Ringer of Angel's and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... where he was. His delay may have been intentional, yet he had the appearance of deep preoccupation. He quite understood that Wanaha's presence during his story had been deliberate. She had left her own class on some trifling excuse and come out to warn him, knowing that he would be alone with his children. There was no smile ...
— The Watchers of the Plains - A Tale of the Western Prairies • Ridgewell Cullum

... were clasped about the lock of a repeating rifle, pointed muzzle to the ground. On his face was stamped a look of stern absorption that relaxed only as he neared occasional fences, but when these had been hurdled and his mount had again caught its stride, the preoccupation returned. Although his eyes were lowered, he did not see the ground, nor the mild surprise of grazing Jerseys past which he dashed. He saw nothing now beyond a most unpleasant picture which circumstance was holding ...
— Sunlight Patch • Credo Fitch Harris



Words linked to "Preoccupation" :   abstractedness, thought, hobbyhorse, obsession, preoccupancy, absentmindedness, self-absorption, occupation, fixation, hang-up, idea, abstraction, occupancy



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