Dictonary.netDictonary.net
Synonyms, antonyms, pronunciation

  Home
English Dictionary      examples: 'day', 'get rid of', 'New York Bay'




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








Advanced search
     Find words:
Starting with
Ending with
Containing
Matching a pattern  

Synonyms
Antonyms
Quotes
Words linked to  

only single words



Share |





"Preoccupation" Quotes from Famous Books



... In his preoccupation he forgot that the supper hour was passing, but at last started hastily for his room. As he rapidly turned a sharp corner he nearly ran into two ladies who were coming from an opposite direction, and ...
— A Face Illumined • E. P. Roe

... tone and his preoccupation during supper both worried and perplexed me. So as soon as I could get away from the shack I went out to the windmill tower again. And the small platform at the end of the sloping little iron ladder looked so tempting ...
— The Prairie Mother • Arthur Stringer

... and delight was allowed to prevail throughout the whole of the following day; there 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, ...
— The Man in the Iron Mask • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... even less. But his brain was active and fertile. He had slept but little on their swift westward way until after crossing the Mississippi. His mother's grief at parting, and her speechless anxiety as to the dangers that might beset him, had affected him deeply, and at first his silence and preoccupation were due to that. But the fighting blood of the Graeme was in his veins, and against the abominable wrong these "sharks" would do his father and his scattered friends the young fellow was bent on giving valiant ...
— To The Front - A Sequel to Cadet Days • Charles King

... impending storm, into a big gloom that did not lighten even when, after dinner, the girls were left alone in the library with their beloved "one thousand and seventy-four" books. From over the edge of "Vanity Fair" Robin watched anxiously the preoccupation ...
— Red-Robin • Jane Abbott

... French Consul-General, too. She could crush me! I must serve My Lady Disdain, and I will fight and die in her army!" Arriving at Delhi, Major Alan Hawke's first visit was to Ram Lal Singh, as he prepared to "report forthwith," in "full rig," to the local Commander. There was a strange preoccupation in the old jeweler which baffled Hawke. Ram Lal only humbly begged to have all his lengthened accounts with Madame Berthe Louison arranged, and Alan Hawke, with a few words, calmed the ...
— A Fascinating Traitor • Richard Henry Savage

... in her father's room, with her mother only a few weeks dead, she reproached herself for her readiness to be deceived, for her preoccupation with her own affairs and the odious Mr. Jenkins, for the exuberance of life which hid from her the dwindling of her mother's, and the fact, now so plain, that when Reginald Mallett died his wife's capacity for struggling was at an end. She had suffered bitterly from the sight of his deterioration ...
— THE MISSES MALLETT • E. H. YOUNG

... just been opened, was, in fact, that of the Comte de Guiche. But it was not alone with the hope of catching a glimpse of Madame through her curtains that he seated himself by the open window, for his preoccupation of mind had at that time a different origin. He had just received, as we have already stated, the courier who had been dispatched to him by Bragelonne, the latter having written to De Guiche a letter which had made the deepest impression upon him, and ...
— The Vicomte de Bragelonne - Or Ten Years Later being the completion of "The Three - Musketeers" And "Twenty Years After" • Alexandre Dumas

... Alan slept little. Even at dinner his hostess, Mrs. Waterton, noticed his preoccupation; and, on the pretext of a headache, he retired early to his own bedroom. His mind was full of Herminia and these strange ideas of hers; how could he listen with a becoming show of interest to Ethel Waterton's aspirations on the grand piano after a gipsy life,—oh, ...
— The Woman Who Did • Grant Allen

... rest-houses at which they can draw rein and find agreement. One of these, possibly the greatest of them, is folk song. Ireland, whose head is ever turned over her shoulder, looking to the past, has, in her folk song, at least, reason and justification for her preoccupation with what has been in her music, rather than with what is, or is to come. It is difficult to reconcile the eternal beauty of traditional Irish melody with the lack of musical interest and feeling that distinguishes the mass ...
— Mount Music • E. Oe. Somerville and Martin Ross

... 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 ...
— Sermons at Rugby • John Percival

... the days passed, Kate congratulated herself on having taken Jacqueline's affairs in hand before any harm was done. Startled out of her own preoccupation by Jemima's discovery of how matters stood between Jacqueline and the author, she continued to watch the younger girl narrowly; but she saw no signs of secret grief, nor even of wounded pride. The girl had never been more radiant, her cheeks ...
— Kildares of Storm • Eleanor Mercein Kelly

... half reclining in a most distorted posture on two chairs, his figure in deep shadow, but his book was raised above his head so as to catch the red glow of the stove on the printed page. Even then his father's angry interruption scarcely diverted his preoccupation; he raised himself in his chair mechanically, with his eyes still fixed on his book. Seeing which his father quickly regained the ...
— A First Family of Tasajara • Bret Harte

... occasion when she sent for him, he had drawn a piteous picture of the peasant's condition, and had expatiated with eloquence on his own poverty, and on the extreme difficulty of collecting any rents at all. It was not until he discovered that Corona's chief preoccupation was for the welfare of her tenants that he changed his tactics, and endeavoured to prove that all was for the best upon the best of all ...
— Saracinesca • F. Marion Crawford

... all his preoccupation, he had not failed to note the wistfulness in Evelyn's dutifully smiling eyes. He was more than usually tender with her on his return, and successfully banished the wistfulness by giving up his polo to take her for a ride. Honor stood watching them go, through tears which rose unbidden ...
— Captain Desmond, V.C. • Maud Diver

... little smile, and her eyelids were pale violet and lay heavy to her cheek. White, like a bride, with a nosegay of orange- blossom and syringa at her throat, she lay there on her bed with lightly folded hands and the strange aloofness and preoccupation all the dead have. Only her hair burned about her like a molten copper; and the wreath of myrtle leaves ran forward to her brows and leapt beyond them ...
— Earthwork Out Of Tuscany • Maurice Hewlett

... 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

... instance of the President's preoccupation of mind occurred at one of his levees, when he was shaking hands with a host of visitors passing him in a ...
— Lincoln's Yarns and Stories • Alexander K. McClure

... My preoccupation now is to find out as near as possible where we are bound for. I am a good-enough sailor to be able to estimate the approximate speed of a ship. In my opinion the Ebba has been travelling at the ...
— Facing the Flag • Jules Verne

... his wife bowed her head, clasped her hands, and waited: she knew that his silence meant neither contempt nor indifference, only a tyrannous preoccupation. Balthazar was one of those beings who preserve deep in their souls and after long years all their youthful delicacy of feeling; he would have thought it criminal to wound by so much as a word a woman weighed down by the sense of physical disfigurement. No man knew better than he ...
— The Alkahest • Honore de Balzac

... of his hotel in a state of preoccupation. He was sore and irritated; he disliked it all intensely; it jarred upon him and offended his taste. Over and over he cursed it all for a damnable business from beginning to end. He was perfectly aware, reasoning from cause to effect, that the situation was, in ...
— Princess • Mary Greenway McClelland

... 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 ...
— Germinie Lacerteux • Edmond and Jules de Goncourt

... developed girl of twenty-six, short, still lissom, but with the fear of corpulence in her heart. She had beautiful hair and beautiful eyes, and she had that pucker of the forehead denoting, according to circumstances, either some kindly, grave preoccupation or a benevolent perplexity ...
— The Pretty Lady • Arnold E. Bennett

... Kvaran (1859-1938), a clergyman's son from the North, who, after beginning as a student of politics, soon turned his attention to literature and journalism. He became editor of Icelandic newspapers in Canada (1885-95), and, later, in Iceland, mainly in Reykjavk. His chief preoccupation, however, became the composition of short stories and novels, and besides these he also wrote some plays and poetry. The delicacy and the religious bent of his nature could not for long remain the soil for the satirical asperity and materialism of the realist school, though his art was always ...
— Seven Icelandic Short Stories • Various

... illusions were gone, though it was but a couple of years since he had donned the bright, showy, glittering dragoon uniform, so attractive to the neophyte. He was thinking of home, of his dear, patient, loving mother, whose constant preoccupation he was; of his lovely, self-denying sisters, whose dowry was fast going while he was himself enjoying himself in the "king's service." Was he? Was he "enjoying" himself? Was this—this hollow, stupid round of the coarsest pleasures and the equally coarse ...
— A Little Garrison - A Realistic Novel of German Army Life of To-day • Fritz von der Kyrburg

... nevertheless, were so guided by experience that they were rarely futile or unremunerative. On themes that accorded with his tastes and pursuits he would often talk earnestly and well, but his silence and preoccupation at other times proved that it is not best to be dominated by one idea, even though it be ...
— Nature's Serial Story • E. P. Roe

... Scofield had immediately swept him into the 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, ...
— The Three Black Pennys - A Novel • Joseph Hergesheimer

... 'Red.' You said you'd been a partner. You have. Some day I'm going to tell you how grateful I am." In his preoccupation, he forgot to tie up the blankets; and, one hand on "Red's" shoulder, he let the cord ...
— The Bad Man • Charles Hanson Towne

... aide-de-camp Sulkowsky, so severely wounded at Salahieh that he left his pallet of suffering with the greatest difficulty only. Bonaparte, in his preoccupation forgetting the young Pole's condition, said to him: "Sulkowsky, take fifteen Guides and go see ...
— The Companions of Jehu • Alexandre Dumas

... proposed treatment of the problem of slavery—founded on an inadequate conception of democracy. In this case, moreover, the inadequate conception of democracy was much more traditionally American than was an exclusive preoccupation either with natural or legal rights; and according to its chief advocate it would have the magical result of permitting the expansion of slavery, and of preserving the Constitutional Union, without doing ...
— The Promise Of American Life • Herbert David Croly

... 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 ...
— The Unknown Guest • Maurice Maeterlinck

... tracing out the route they were to follow to notice that after the car had spun along smoothly for several miles its speed lessened, and it was not until it came to a complete standstill that he aroused himself from his preoccupation sufficiently to see that his father was bending forward ...
— Steve and the Steam Engine • Sara Ware Bassett

... 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 developed both wit and shrewdness,—qualities repressed in ...
— A Daughter of Eve • Honore de Balzac

... strangers, but he had distinctly the air of one wishing to be alone, and I was unwilling to seem intrusive. I had barely taken a dozen steps, however, before I was overtaken. My companion of a few minutes before was again by my side. All traces of his recent preoccupation seemed to have vanished. He was smoking a fresh cigarette, and his bright, deep-set eyes ...
— The Master Mummer • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... the excitement of victory, and the intense sympathy with their unexampled triumph, had again swelled their ranks, and would probably act with the force of a vortex to draw in their simple countrymen from the Caspian. The question, therefore, of preoccupation was reduced to a race. The Cossacks were marching 5 upon an oblique line not above 50 miles longer than that which led to the same point from the Kalmuck headquarters before Koulagina; and therefore, without the most furious haste on the part of the Kalmucks, ...
— De Quincey's Revolt of the Tartars • Thomas De Quincey

... the intrinsic and the exchange value of the kran, notwithstanding the constant demand for exchange, is quite worthy of note. Political preoccupation is the principal cause of the hoarding system in Government circles, and in the masses the absence of banking organisations in which the natives have sufficient confidence to deposit their savings. Slowly but surely the Persian is beginning to feel the good effects of depositing ...
— Across Coveted Lands - or a Journey from Flushing (Holland) to Calcutta Overland • Arnold Henry Savage Landor

... cheerful: to such an extent, that Mavis wondered if her friend guessed the secret of her lover's identity, and, divining her heart's longings, was endeavouring to distract her thoughts from their probable preoccupation. Mavis thanked her friend again and again for all she had done for her. Miss Toombs had that morning received a letter from her London boot acquaintance in reply to one she had written concerning Mavis. This letter had told Miss Toombs that her ...
— Sparrows - The Story of an Unprotected Girl • Horace W. C. Newte

... 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 natures ...
— The Business of Being a Woman • Ida M. Tarbell

... behave resentfully, rebel and work Obi. She ceased to listen to her husband's talk from the day she married him, and ceased to unwrinkle the kink in her brow at his presence, giving herself up to mental states that had a quality of secret preoccupation. And she developed an idea for which perhaps there was legitimate excuse, that he was lazy. He seemed to stand about in the shop a great deal, to read—an indolent habit—and presently to seek company for talking. He began to attend the bar parlour ...
— The History of Mr. Polly • H. G. Wells

... common, and the lambs and children disporting amongst the gorse, but whose thoughts and eyes are evidently fixed on Jem Tanner, as she meets his backward glance with a blushing smile, and half springs forward to meet him; whilst Olive has broken off the conversation as soon as she perceived the preoccupation of her companion, and began humming, perhaps unconsciously, two or three lines of Burns, whose "Whistle and I'll come to thee, my love," and "Gi'e me a glance of thy bonny black ee," were never better exemplified than ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 10, Issue 265, July 21, 1827 • Various

... on the canal bank, they were the only two persons on the pavement. He observed her dreaminess and preoccupation. On reaching the house where she lodged, Sonia turned in at the gate; he followed her, seeming rather surprised. In the courtyard she turned to the right corner. "Bah!" muttered the unknown gentleman, and mounted the stairs behind her. Only then Sonia noticed him. ...
— Crime and Punishment • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... all things were left to moulder away in dust and filth, and the worship of God was, if not inwardly profaned, at least outwardly dishonoured. Nor did this arise from real poverty, but from indifference, sloth, preoccupation of mind about vain earthly concerns, and often also from egotism and spiritual death; for I saw neglect of this kind in churches the pastors and congregations of which were rich, or at east tolerably well off. I saw many others in which worldly, tasteless, ...
— The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ • Anna Catherine Emmerich

... vital interdependent triad—are surely a preoccupation strong enough and precious enough to startle the minds of the most complacent; and it is with the object of awakening all to their possibilities—in health or in disease—of protection of the one, and hope and regeneration ...
— Valere Aude - Dare to Be Healthy, Or, The Light of Physical Regeneration • Louis Dechmann

... there are other verses of "Ethna Carberry" (Mrs. Anna Johnstone MacManus) that are as fine as this. Mrs. Dora Sigerson Shorter is a balladist of stark power, and Miss Eva Gore-Booth a lyric poet whose natural lilt no preoccupation with mysticism can for more than ...
— Irish Plays and Playwrights • Cornelius Weygandt

... said Brinnaria, "everybody knows my preoccupation with Almo and everybody saw my behavior in the Amphitheatre. I feel pretty safe in respect to my general reputation. As to particulars, I've been vigilantly careful to keep away from Almo. Except twice, in the ...
— The Unwilling Vestal • Edward Lucas White

... descended again to the shop. It was empty, as usual, and Evelina sat at her pinking-machine in the back room. Ann Eliza was still agitated by her efforts to restore the dress-maker, but in spite of her preoccupation she was struck, as soon as she entered, by the loud tick of the clock, which still stood on the shelf where she had ...
— Bunner Sisters • Edith Wharton

... their guesses were they learned that night when Ashe returned, a deer's haunch on his shoulder. Ross knew him well enough by now to sense his preoccupation. "You found something?" ...
— The Time Traders • Andre Norton

... the library in 1526, as appears from his Ricordi. Still the work went on slowly, not through his negligence, but, as we have seen, from the Pope's preoccupation with graver matters. He had a great many workmen in his service at this period, and employed celebrated masters in their crafts, as Tasso and Carota for wood-carving, Battista del Cinque and Ciapino for carpentry, upon the various fittings of the library. All these details he is said ...
— The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti • John Addington Symonds

... longer a sufficient task to trace the epochs in the spiritual history of lonely idealists, to pursue the problem of existence in minds themselves preoccupied with its solution. "Soul" is still his fundamental preoccupation; but the continued play of an eager intellect and vivacious senses upon life has immensely multiplied the points of concrete experience which it vivifies and transfigures to his eyes. It is as if a painter ...
— Robert Browning • C. H. Herford

... de Sigognac appeared, walking very fast, for a vague anxiety about Isabelle had taken possession of him, and he was in haste to get back to her. In his hurry and preoccupation he did not notice Lampourde, who suddenly approached and laid hold of his cloak, which he snatched off, with a quick, strong jerk that broke its fastenings. Without stopping to dispute the cloak with ...
— Captain Fracasse • Theophile Gautier

... the war of 1665 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 ...
— The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783 • A. T. Mahan

... toleration was slain, and to exalt the Crescent above the Cross became the duty of every fighting Mohammedan. Into all the ports and harbours of the North African littoral the Moslems intruded themselves, their one preoccupation to revenge themselves upon the Christians, of no matter what race or nationality. There was at this date but small opposition from the rulers of the Pagan States who held in their weak and inefficient hands such strong places of arms as ...
— Sea-Wolves of the Mediterranean • E. Hamilton Currey

... drama in this volume, "The Wonderful Magician", is perhaps better known to poetical students in England than even the first, from the spirited fragment Shelley has left us in his "Scenes from Calderon." The preoccupation of a subject by a great master throws immense difficulties in the way of any one who ventures to follow in the same path: but as Shelley allowed himself great licence in his versification, and either from carelessness or an imperfect knowledge ...
— The Wonder-Working Magician • Pedro Calderon de la Barca

... attempt upon his life, but, standing up, he stared at him intently. Garay shrank away and disappeared in the further ranges of the camp. Robert somehow was not afraid. The man would not make such a trial again at so great a risk, and his mind turned back to its preoccupation, the great ...
— The Lords of the Wild - A Story of the Old New York Border • Joseph A. Altsheler

... Alliance" and in the Magazine of 1898 and 1899 there are papers on "The Colonial Expansion of the Great European Powers", "The Italian Riots of May, 1898", "The Philippine Question", "The Dreyfus Incident." This preoccupation of young college women of the nineteenth century with modern industrial and political history is significant when we consider the part that woman has elected to play in politics and reform since the ...
— The Story of Wellesley • Florence Converse

... 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 inclined ...
— Youth and Sex • Mary Scharlieb and F. Arthur Sibly

... pursue her inquiries further, but the dinner was finished and Mr. Wayland had asked for his favorite cigars, so she rose and Boyd accompanied her, leaving the others to smoke. But, strangely enough, Marsh remained in such a state of preoccupation, even after their departure, that Mr. Wayland's attempts at conversation elicited only the vaguest ...
— The Silver Horde • Rex Beach

... the confused stage, Mudha, equivalent to the stage of the youth, swayed by emotions, bewildered by them; he begins to feel he is ignorant—a state beyond the fickleness of the child—a characteristic state, corresponding to activity in the astral world. Then comes the state of preoccupation, or infatuation, Vikshipta, the state of the man possessed by an idea—love, ambition, or what not. He is no longer a confused youth, but a man with a clear aim, and an idea possesses him. It may be either the fixed idea ...
— An Introduction to Yoga • Annie Besant

... the fire-poker till they signified a sense of his attention by a brighter glow. For several weeks I had been observing in him a growing habit of delay in answering even the most trivial of commonplace questions. His air, however, was that of preoccupation rather than deliberation: one might have said that he had "something ...
— Can Such Things Be? • Ambrose Bierce

... she came again to her window, she saw two men leave their horses at the front gate and turn toward the house along the walk under the pear trees. Both were men whose very stature would have drawn one's thoughts away from even pleasant preoccupation, and Winifred Waverly's thoughts were sick of the channel in ...
— Six Feet Four • Jackson Gregory

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

... boiling-point must have an outlet, lest they burst their container. Add to this sub-conscious or unconscious craving for a neutral outlet, the traditional pressure of the Latin inheritance, and we have the greater part of the causes that explain Schnitzler's preoccupation with the themes of love and death. For Schnitzler is ...
— The Lonely Way—Intermezzo—Countess Mizzie - Three Plays • Arthur Schnitzler

... nightfall had evidently been grossly exaggerated. So confident was Everard that he even whistled a tune as he walked, and planned how he would stroll into the drawing-room on his return to Casa Bianca, slip the necklace from his pocket, and casually mention where he had been. In his preoccupation he did not give any particular heed to the road, or see movement among the dark shadows of a group of prickly pears that ...
— The Princess of the School • Angela Brazil

... centres of population, the common people are more trustworthy than the corporations, the colleges, or the newspapers. The selfishness, the preoccupation, the anti-republicanism of these, are proverbial. We know that editors are echoes, not leaders, printing what will sell, not what is true. Landor declared that there is a spice of the scoundrel in most literary men. Everybody understands that a corporation's ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 22, September, 1891 • Various

... on ethical topics, and bound volumes of periodicals. Except for its maps, it was a lawyer's room, although James Thorold never claimed either legal ability or legal standing. Peter seldom entered it without interest in its possibilities of entertainment, but to-day his father's strange and sudden preoccupation of manner ingulfed all the boy's thought. "What is it, dad?" he asked, a tightening fear screwing down upon his brain as he noted the change that had come over the mask that James Thorold's ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1915 - And the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... criticised! They will 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 ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece • John Addington Symonds

... the vision of lovely dark eyes and rippling brown hair with just a hint of red in it, danced before him. Chiniquy, taking advantage of his master's preoccupation, wandered aimlessly against a barbed wire, taking very good care not to get too close to it himself. Jim came to himself just in time to save his leg from a prod ...
— Sowing Seeds in Danny • Nellie L. McClung

... His preoccupation was such that, though he now slept on the other side of the house, he mechanically went to the room that he and his wife had occupied when he first became a tenant of Old-Grove Place, which since his differences with Sue had been hers exclusively. He entered, and unconsciously began ...
— Jude the Obscure • Thomas Hardy

... His preoccupation on this particular day was with a home-state issue—the location of a government plant. After he obtained the floor, he counted the house and noted that only a bare quorum was present. Gradually, the members of the Senate of the United States would drift ...
— Ten From Infinity • Paul W. Fairman

... and the use of them as promoters of social intercourse, as an indication of moral as well as material progress. To a large number of people here, on the other hand, the bolting of food—ten-minute dinners, for instance—and general unconsciousness of "what is on the table," is a sign of preoccupation with serious things. It may be; but the German love of food is not necessarily a sign of grossness, and that "overfed" appearance, of which the Union spoke, is not necessarily a sign of inefficiency, ...
— Reflections and Comments 1865-1895 • Edwin Lawrence Godkin

... part of a real aesthetic impression at all, and the constant preoccupation with subject-matter that characterises nearly all our English art-criticism, is what makes our art- criticisms, especially as regards literature, so sterile, so profitless, so much beside the mark, and of such curiously ...
— Miscellanies • Oscar Wilde

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

... beauties," he exclaimed with due enthusiasm, yet with a certain uneasy preoccupation in his manner. "Were you up before day, did you tell me, to get these? That seems too bad. You needed ...
— The Power and the Glory • Grace MacGowan Cooke

... glance towards his mantel at the clock which was set to railroad time. In past days he had never known Hilary Vane to be a moment late to an appointment. The door was open, and five and twenty minutes had passed the hour before he saw the lawyer in the doorway. Mr. Flint was a man of such preoccupation of mind that he was not likely to be struck by any change there might have been ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... was improved in many ways. The Bourbon kings of 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 ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 2 - "Chicago, University of" to "Chiton" • Various

... narrowed to a slit in his 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 silent, boding front of Isbel and his men summed up for Jean the menace ...
— To the Last Man • Zane Grey

... already shaped themselves, and to whom life, in whatever form it came, must henceforth take their mould. As she reached this point in her analysis, it occurred to her that his shrinking from the subject might well imply not indifference, but a deeper preoccupation: a preoccupation for some reason suppressed and almost disavowed, yet sustaining the more intensely its painful hidden life. From this inference it was but a leap of thought to the next—that the cause ...
— The Fruit of the Tree • Edith Wharton

... had "'ad an unpleasantness," as, Wharfside was well aware, human creatures under such circumstances are liable to have, the interested community could not quite make out; but that something more than ordinary was going on, and that the prettiest of all the "Provident ladies" had a certain preoccupation in her blue eyes, was a fact perfectly apparent to that intelligent society. And, indeed, one of the kinder matrons in Prickett's Lane had even ventured so far as to wish Miss Lucy "a 'appy weddin' when the time comes." "And there's to be a sight o' weddings this Easter," had added ...
— The Perpetual Curate • Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant

... slab beneath the fall; but no sooner had this happened than, abandoning the horses to their own devices, Arima crept cautiously forward until he reached Escombe's heap of clothing, and, availing himself of the preoccupation of the bathers, took the jewel in his hand and examined it with the most rapt attention and care. For a space of nearly five minutes he continued his examination, after which he slowly and thoughtfully ...
— Harry Escombe - A Tale of Adventure in Peru • Harry Collingwood

... it, strangely different from the warm friendliness it had always worn for him before. A letter lay open on the table, and Mr. Irwine's hand was on it, but the changed glance he cast on Adam could not be owing entirely to preoccupation with some disagreeable business, for he was looking eagerly towards the door, as if Adam's entrance were a matter of ...
— Adam Bede • George Eliot

... captain, like nearly every captain I have met in the Bahamas, knew as little about it as I did. Charlie had been right; you must know how to sail your own boat when you hoist your sails in Bahaman waters. I confess that I began to regret Charlie's preoccupation with Tobias—for, in spite of his missing his way that day in the North Bight, Charlie seems to know his way in the dark wherever one happens to be ...
— Pieces of Eight • Richard le Gallienne

... may be extended, that in all cases, subsiding land must be, in early stages, less favourable to formation of new species; but it will isolate them, and then if land recommences rising how favourable. As preoccupation is bar to diffusion to species, so would it be to a selected variety. But it would not be if that variety was better fitted to some not fully occupied station; so during elevation or the formation of new stations, ...
— The Foundations of the Origin of Species - Two Essays written in 1842 and 1844 • Charles Darwin

... stories of some palaces which once on a time had housed much fierceness and beauty, treachery and perverse seductiveness. Knowing Antonio's intimate acquaintance with those splendid days, I strove to rouse him by congenial allusions. His preoccupation continued; the historic syllables that issued from my lips were wasted in the clamor of the street. Yet when I pronounced the name of one of those bygone belles, Fiammetta Adimari, he repeated slowly, like a man who has found the ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1920 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... chair will stand in that corner," said Mrs. Bradford, going back to her great preoccupation. "I must measure it. I do ...
— The Privet Hedge • J. E. Buckrose

... water-cress and thin bread-and-butter. He paused in the act of daintily sprinkling it with salt pinched in finger and thumb, and looked at Deleah across the table, her hand hiding her face. So long he looked at her, so long she remained unconscious of him, that Franky ventured in their preoccupation to help himself to a third piece of cake, his ...
— Mrs. Day's Daughters • Mary E. Mann

... departing cavalry drew the elders to the windows, and in this preoccupation Janice saw her opportunity to gain by stealth what had been denied her. Slipping silently from the parlour, she sped through hall and dining-room, pausing only when the kitchen doorway was attained, her courage wellnigh gone at the thought that the aide might ...
— Janice Meredith • Paul Leicester Ford

... 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

... among them to link them up with their brethren at home, and fan the embers of patriotism which long residence in the Tsardom had not quenched. Little by little, the political fruits of these apostolic labours began to show themselves: the colonists, whose main preoccupation had been to occupy the most fertile soil in the district, began to take over the approaches to Russia's strategic plans, and to display an absorbing interest in Russian politics. Several Zemstvos fell into their hands, and were practically controlled by them, and they contrived ...
— England and Germany • Emile Joseph Dillon

... 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 be ...
— A Fleece of Gold - Five Lessons from the Fable of Jason and the Golden Fleece • Charles Stewart Given

... Cray I felt that I must never meet you again, either waking or dreaming. The discovery that you were Gogo, after all, combined with the preoccupation which as a mere stranger you had already caused me for so long, created such a disturbance in my spirit that—that—there, you must try and imagine ...
— Peter Ibbetson • George du Marier et al

... to Tours was made more quickly than coming, and Mr. Jefferson was so full of his visit to Azay-le-Roi as not to notice Calvert's preoccupation and silence. They rode into the town in the late afternoon and made their way to the Boule d'Or, where Calvert, who had a sudden longing to be alone, left Mr. Jefferson writing letters, and strolled back into the ...
— Calvert of Strathore • Carter Goodloe

... hopes, you will readily forgive this irreverent, self-confident critic-journalist any crude things he may have said in his haste for sake of his flashes of perception, his happily descriptive phrases, his inspiring anticipations, his uncalculating candour, and above all his generous preoccupation with things that matter enormously. "What we prosperous people who have nearly all the good things of life and most of the opportunities have to do now is to justify ourselves." That is a sentiment and ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, March 11, 1914 • Various

... incidental; through nine-tenths of the piece, perhaps, there is little or no moral preoccupation to disturb us. And here, though no doubt the poetic beauty reaches a climax in the song to Sabrina—a song for pure music certainly unsurpassed and probably unequalled by anything else that Milton ever wrote—there are others, such as 'By the rushy-fringed bank,' as well as less distinctively ...
— Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama - A Literary Inquiry, with Special Reference to the Pre-Restoration - Stage in England • Walter W. Greg

... all teatime that her brothers continually rallied her upon her preoccupation, and her mother, fearing she must be sick, sent her to bed very early. To this the little girl did not object, as she wanted to be alone to think over the question that ...
— Katie Robertson - A Girls Story of Factory Life • Margaret E. Winslow

... been metamorphosed into a statue. This 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 ...
— The Canadian Brothers - or The Prophecy Fulfilled • John Richardson

... box. 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

... inevitable either the one or the other of two opposite errors of exaggeration. The undue assertion of the present-interest constitutes materialism, in the moral sense. Materialism is a forfeiture of greater good through preoccupation with nearer good. It appears in an individual's neglect of his fellow's interest, in his too easy satisfaction with good already attained, in short-sighted policy on any scale. Formalism, on the other hand, signifies the improvident exaggeration ...
— The Moral Economy • Ralph Barton Perry

... said that his lasted for six days. That was the period also in a case of which I had some personal evidence. Mr. Myers, on the other hand, said that he had a very prolonged period of unconsciousness. I could imagine that the length is regulated by the amount of trouble or mental preoccupation of this life, the longer rest giving the better means of wiping this out. Probably the little child would need no such interval at all. This, of course, is pure speculation, but there is a considerable consensus of ...
— The New Revelation • Arthur Conan Doyle

... to these results. Or it may study the methods of science, and seek to apply these methods, with the necessary adaptations, to its own peculiar province. Much philosophy inspired by science has gone astray through preoccupation with the results momentarily supposed to have been achieved. It is not results, but methods that can be transferred with profit from the sphere of the special sciences to the sphere of philosophy. What I wish to bring to your notice is the possibility and importance ...
— Mysticism and Logic and Other Essays • Bertrand Russell

... quite another kind of a novel. Earnest, thoughtful, sincere, lacking in humor and in technical finish, yet holding one's attention by the complete preoccupation of the author in her theme, and by the common interests of ...
— The Forerunner, Volume 1 (1909-1910) • Charlotte Perkins Gilman

... was often called "Mr. Modern Republican," because the political philosophy which he espoused was precisely that of Eisenhower (Larson is now, 1962, Director of the World Rule of Law Center at Duke University, where his full-time preoccupation is working for repeal of the Connally Reservation, so that the World Court can take ...
— The Invisible Government • Dan Smoot

... most strictly. Such persons were supposed to be able to perform miracles. In the Middle Ages the casuists and theologians seemed never to tire of multiplying distinctions and antitheses about sex.[2191] In fact their constant preoccupation with it was the worst departure from the reserve and dignity which are the first requirements in respect to it. A document of the extremest doctrine is Hali Meidenhad,[2192] of the thirteenth century. The aim of the book is to persuade women to renounce marriage. ...
— Folkways - A Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores, and Morals • William Graham Sumner

... she appeared only half-convinced, for I saw upon her brow a heavy, thoughtful expression, similar to that I had noticed when sitting opposite her at dinner. The reason of her constant preoccupation was that she feared that her sister might give me the clue to ...
— The Seven Secrets • William Le Queux

... full heart 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 ...
— Humphrey Bold - A Story of the Times of Benbow • Herbert Strang

... and Hungary the Government 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 interests of ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 2, May, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... 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

... pondered this letter so long and seriously that his wife noticed his preoccupation, and asked him what was ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... preoccupation, with no anxiety for the future, exempt from family cares, they transfer all their solicitude to themselves, and make a divinity of ...
— The Grip of Desire • Hector France

... business, the tyro to whom the elements of his occupation are unknown. We have seen that when he wrote Catilina he had neither sat through nor read any of the plays of the world, whether ancient or modern. The pieces which belong to his student years reveal a preoccupation with Danish dramas of the older school, Oehlenschlaeger and (if we may guess what Norma was) Holberg, but with nothing else. Yet Ole Bull, one of the most far-sighted men of his time, must have perceived the germs of theatrical genius in him, ...
— Henrik Ibsen • Edmund Gosse

... conversation. More than once she said to me: "One would like to put the care of one's personal safety into the hands of that man. He looks as if he simply couldn't fail one." I admitted that this was very true, especially at sea. Dominic couldn't fail. But at the same time I rather chaffed Rita on her preoccupation as to personal safety that so often cropped up ...
— The Arrow of Gold - a story between two notes • Joseph Conrad

... 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 told me that if I would ...
— Familiar Spanish Travels • W. D. Howells

... animal. To all the notary's questions, he replied only by monosyllables, passing his fingers every now and then through his bushy brown locks, and twining them in his forked beard, a sure indication with him of preoccupation and bad humor. ...
— A Woodland Queen, Complete • Andre Theuriet

... was to assure himself that such miracles happen but once. He said to himself that his hour was in sight and that it behoved him to keep his eyes upon it, yet that it was also open to him to spend the interval as agreeably as might be consistent with such a preoccupation. With the prospect of losing them the simple use of his faculties became an exquisite pleasure; it seemed to him the joys of contemplation had never been sounded. He was far from the time when he had found it hard that he should be obliged to give up the idea of distinguishing ...
— The Portrait of a Lady - Volume 1 (of 2) • Henry James

... ambassadors, harassed by this constant preoccupation, had little time or inclination left for any serious pursuit, since, to take a moment's repose or an hour's breathing space was to risk falling behind in the endless and aimless race. Strange as it may appear, the knowledge that they owed place and preferment ...
— Worldly Ways and Byways • Eliot Gregory

... "eoliths," and they have been traced back by Verworn to the Miocene of the Auvergne, and by Rutot even to the upper Oligocene. Although these eoliths are even nowadays the subject of many different views, the preoccupation with them has kept the problem of the age of the ...
— Darwin and Modern Science • A.C. Seward and Others

... the men gather round her talking and laughing in an easy manner, and wondered how it was possible for them to do it. But destiny, my special destiny, was at work. I was standing near, talking with affected gaiety to several young ladies, who, however, must have remarked my preoccupation; for my second sense of hearing was alert to what was being said by the group of which the girl in white was the center, when I heard her say: "I think his playing of Chopin is exquisite." And one of my friends in the group replied: "You haven't met him? Allow me——" ...
— The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man • James Weldon Johnson

... has at least one motion picture in him. And so, though I had managed to visit studios and meet a few of the players, this was my very first shot at a manuscript actually in production. I took advantage of Kennedy's momentary preoccupation to ...
— The Film Mystery • Arthur B. Reeve

... from him, she made her arrangements for having the afternoon undisturbed sending Wayne to drive, and ordering the servants to admit no one but Mr. Strange, should he chance to call. Having intrenched herself behind the fortification of the tea-table, she waited. In spite of her preoccupation, or rather because of it, she purposely read a book, forcing herself to fix her attention on its pages in order to have her mind free from preconceived notions as to how she must act and what she must say. ...
— The Wild Olive • Basil King

... walked the springy floor a dozen times, nonplussed by the Major's dilemma. Pausing in his preoccupation before the open window he noted vaguely that the nuptial fires were yellowing before the approach of dawn: a moment and he started violently as the solution struck him and he whirled upon the ...
— Terry - A Tale of the Hill People • Charles Goff Thomson

... gives as an example the reply of a patient "I think of my illness or such vicissitude by which it was brought about." Indeed, in one place, Professor Dejerine goes so far as to permit himself to say that the hypochondriac preoccupation itself constitutes originally a purely intellectual conception, a propos of which, but secondarily to it the patient really may work up an emotion, but which is really NOT OF EMOTIONAL ORIGIN, a position first taken and long ...
— The Journal of Abnormal Psychology - Volume 10

... to land, uncle Phaeton?" queried Bruno, taking note of that preoccupation, which might easily prove ...
— The Lost City • Joseph E. Badger, Jr.

... he was now voyaging as a review of these various anxieties. I have thrown them (for the reader's convenience) into a certain order; but in the mind of one poor human equal they whirled together like the dust of hurricanes. With the same obliging preoccupation, I have put a name to each of his distresses; and it will be observed with pity that every individual item would have graced and commended the cover of a ...
— The Wrong Box • Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne

... instructions. Such a pupil hears your words, says "yes," even acts appropriately so far as your immediate instructions go; but when he comes to the same situation again, he is as virginly innocent of your lesson as if his teacher had never been born. Psychologically, the state differs from preoccupation, which characterizes quite a different type of mind. The motor boy is not preoccupied. Far from that, he is quite ready to attend to you. But when he attends, it is with a momentary concentration—with a rush like the flow of a mountain stream past the point of the bank on ...
— The Story of the Mind • James Mark Baldwin

... prospered, and the growth of Summit sales left an increasing balance on the profit side of Thompson's ledger. Moreover the rapid and steady growth of his business kept his mind on the business. It worked out—his business preoccupation—much in the manner of the old story of fleas and dogs, to wit: a certain number of fleas is good for a dog. They keep him from brooding over the fact that ...
— Burned Bridges • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... obvious 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 start, and ...
— Grey Roses • Henry Harland

... organ, whose transportation thither had been a marvel of "packing." These things were supposed to give Salomy Jane an undue importance, but the girl's reserve and inaccessibility to local advances were rather the result of a cool, lazy temperament and the preoccupation of a large, protecting admiration for her father, for some years a widower. For Mr. Madison Clay's life had been threatened in one or two feuds,—it was said, not without cause,—and it is possible that the pathetic ...
— Stories in Light and Shadow • Bret Harte

... 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 he dropped the ...
— The Trampling of the Lilies • Rafael Sabatini

... might safely continue their voyage. Madam Beritola landed with the rest on the island, and, leaving them all, sought out a lonely and secluded spot, and there abandoned herself to melancholy brooding on the loss of her dear Arrighetto. While thus she spent her days in solitary preoccupation with her grief it chanced that a galley of corsairs swooped down upon the island, and, before either the mariners or any other folk were aware of their peril, made an easy capture of them all and sailed ...
— The Decameron, Volume I • Giovanni Boccaccio

... the vexed Shrapnel question, rang like a shot in the room at Steynham, and breathed a different spirit from his customary easy pugnacity that welcomed and lured on an adversary to wild outhitting. Some sorrowful preoccupation is, however, to be expected in the man who has lost a brother, and some degree of irritability at the intrusion of past disputes. He chose to repeat a similar brief forbidding of the subject before they started together for the scene ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... He paused in his preoccupation, his perambulation, conscious evidently of no reluctance that was worth a scene with so charming and so hungry a woman. "Well, if it's a question of your otherwise suffering torments, may I have another interview with ...
— The Outcry • Henry James

... of the world has been centred upon the millionaires whom this mighty trade has made. The very book which I have quoted so literally carries as its luring subtitle, "The Story of a Thousand Millionaires." "A huge, exclusive preoccupation with dollar-getting," says H. G. Wells. But an occupation that finds the red earth and the white earth, carries it hundreds of miles to where the coal is stored or the gas is ready to be lighted, assembles the labor from Europe, and converts that red earth, with almost human possibilities, into rails ...
— The French in the Heart of America • John Finley

... to be as happy as they are," Mollie said, with a little sigh, and with a start Betty came out of her preoccupation. ...
— The Outdoor Girls at Bluff Point - Or a Wreck and a Rescue • Laura Lee Hope

... 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 ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XII, No. 29. August, 1873. • Various

... habitually manifested itself against the remnants of the Jacobin party, the declared enemies of the order of things which he wished to establish, capable, he thought, of any crimes, and whose works he had had the opportunity of judging. This exclusive preoccupation sometimes turned away his attention from more pressing perils and bolder enemies. A conspiracy to which the police had lent themselves, and which had failed without any of the accomplices daring to put their hands on their arms, roused public attention, in the month of October, 1800, ...
— Worlds Best Histories - France Vol 7 • M. Guizot and Madame Guizot De Witt

... a man of notable attributes and shocking manners—is as easily lost in Paris as anywhere; it is a city of many shadows. At the end of some weeks, during which his work had suffered from his new preoccupation, Rufin saw himself baffled. His man had vanished effectually, carrying with him to his obscurity the great picture. It was the memory of that consummate thing that held Rufin to his task of finding the author; he pictured it to himself, housed in ...
— The Second Class Passenger • Perceval Gibbon

... old Dresden china equipage pleased me, forced itself upon my notice in spite of the deep preoccupation of ...
— The Reflections of Ambrosine - A Novel • Elinor Glyn

... year, were intoxicated by the odour of the meadows and the sap of the woods. If some day we were to have her complete correspondence given to us, I should not be surprised if many people preferred it to her letters to Musset. In the first place, it is not spoiled by that preoccupation which the Venice lovers had, of writing literature. Mingled with the accents of sincere passion, we do not find extraordinary conceptions of paradoxical metaphysics. It is Nature which speaks in these letters, and for that very reason ...
— George Sand, Some Aspects of Her Life and Writings • Rene Doumic

... smoking pistol in a holster at his saddlebow—he had decided that he was mounted—and proceeded up the street. At intervals he indulged himself in other encounters, reining in at first suspicion of ambush with a muttered, "Whoa, Charlie!" or "Whoa, Mike!" or even "Whoa, Washington!" for preoccupation with the enemy outweighed attention to the details of theatrical consistency, though the steed's varying names were at least harmoniously masculine, since a boy, in these creative moments, never rides a mare. And having ...
— The Boy Scouts Book of Stories • Various

... Greif would now recover quickly, and it seemed very probable that in that case he would no longer hesitate to marry Hilda. At the thought of her, Rex experienced a disagreeable sensation which even he could not understand at first. Hitherto, his chief preoccupation had been the marriage, and scarcely an hour had passed, so long as he had hoped that Greif would live, in which he had not contrasted the happiness in store for his brother, if he took Hilda, with the misery he would have to encounter if he ...
— Greifenstein • F. Marion Crawford

... remark got past her lips. She paid no attention to the singing nor to the whispered conversation; she ate an enormous tea, finishing up all the cakes that the others neglected in their excitement and preoccupation; but she appeared as calm and unconcerned as the tea- cosy that concealed the heated, stimulating teapot beneath it. She looked more circular and globular than ever. Even the knowledge that this was the ...
— The Extra Day • Algernon Blackwood

... chauffeur, his cap on the back of his head, his cigarette drooping from his lips, was tossing the remnants of a sandwich to a circle of excited hens. He presented a picture of bored indolence, of innocent preoccupation. It was almost ...
— Somewhere in France • Richard Harding Davis

... 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

... is my work?" Brenton interrupted banally, for, in his secret heart, he was painfully aware that it was not the church alone which kept him so preoccupied that his preoccupation had come to be an ...
— The Brentons • Anna Chapin Ray

... 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 ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 1 • Horace Walpole

... 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 ...
— Modern Mythology • Andrew Lang

... charm of a humming bird in full flight. The human element is almost eliminated. We are in the open, the sun blazes in the blue, and all is gay, atmospheric, and illuding. Even where the tone deepens, where the shadows grow cooler and darker in the B major section, there is little hint of preoccupation with sadness. Subtle are the harmonic shifts, admirable the ever changing devices of the figuration. Riemann accents the B, the E, A, B flat, C and F, at the close—perilous leaps for the left hand, but they bring into fine relief the exquisite harmonic web. An easy way of avoiding ...
— Chopin: The Man and His Music • James Huneker

... pushing his search for climate on behalf of his friend's neurasthenic wife. He decided that Ospedaletti, with a milder air and more sheltered seat in its valley of palms, would be better for her than San Remo. He wrote his friend to that effect, and then there was no preoccupation to hinder him in his devotion to the case of Miss Gerald. He put the case first in the order of interest rather purposely, and even with a sense of effort, though he could not deny to himself that a like case related to a different personality might have been less absorbing. But he tried to keep ...
— Between The Dark And The Daylight • William Dean Howells

... immense tranquillity, a muting of all human thought, all human endeavor, an unthinkable, cosmic calm into which all that was human of me seemed to be sinking, drowning as in a fathomless abyss. I struggled against it, desperately, striving in study of the Disk to erect a barrier of preoccupation against the ...
— The Metal Monster • A. Merritt

... their men-folk, they have nobly discharged their debt. It is trite to refer to the numerous schemes of philanthropy in which American women have played so prominent a part, to allude to the fact that they have as a body used their leisure to cultivate those arts and graces of life which the preoccupation of man has led him too often to neglect. This chapter may well close with the words of Professor Bryce: "No country seems to owe more to its women than America does, nor to owe to them so much of what is best in its social ...
— The Land of Contrasts - A Briton's View of His American Kin • James Fullarton Muirhead

... a near mutter of thunder. In her deep preoccupation, she had not noticed the coming of another shower. It proved a short but heavy one, and she exulted. "The rain will ...
— Miss Lou • E. P. Roe

... countless ways; but more by her actions, her present wretchedness, than by speech. It was perfectly clear to Linda that nothing else mattered. She was even beginning, in a vague way, to think of it in connection with herself; but still most of her preoccupation was in her mother. She decided gravely that a great deal, yet, could be ...
— Linda Condon • Joseph Hergesheimer

... others, a docile body which he had pressed tightly in his arms and explored with his fingers, a woman of whom he might one day come into absolute possession if he succeeded in making himself indispensable to her. There she was, often tired, her face left blank for the nonce by that eager, feverish preoccupation with the unknown things which made Swann suffer; she would push back her hair with both hands; her forehead, her whole face would seem to grow larger; then, suddenly, some ordinary human thought, some worthy sentiment such as is to be found in all creatures ...
— Swann's Way - (vol. 1 of Remembrance of Things Past) • Marcel Proust

... J. H. Newman declined, and Dr. Tregelles, from feeble health and preoccupation on his great work, the critical edition of the New Testament, was unable to attend. It should be here mentioned that soon after the formation of the company, Rev. John Troutbeck, Minor Canon of Westminster, afterwards Doctor of Divinity, ...
— Addresses on the Revised Version of Holy Scripture • C. J. Ellicott

... speechless refer to fact or state; taciturn refers to habit and disposition. The talkative person may be stricken dumb with surprise or terror; the obstinate may remain mute; one may be silent through preoccupation of mind or of set purpose; but the taciturn person is averse to the utterance of thought or feeling and to communication with others, either from natural disposition or for the occasion. One who is silent does not speak at all; one who ...
— English Synonyms and Antonyms - With Notes on the Correct Use of Prepositions • James Champlin Fernald

... to insecure ground, still were keeping on terra firma a certain sensation of elastic unsteadiness. His goings and comings were not awakening the curiosity of the people seated in the open, for a common preoccupation seemed to be monopolizing all the men and women. The groups were exchanging impressions. Those who happened to have a paper in their hands, saw their neighbors approaching them with a smile of interrogation. There ...
— The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... to look out through the meshes of a fine dark net, could be seen close above his shoulders. Karain never moved without that attendant, who stood or squatted close at his back. He had a dislike of an open space behind him. It was more than a dislike—it resembled fear, a nervous preoccupation of what went on where he could not see. This, in view of the evident and fierce loyalty that surrounded him, was inexplicable. He was there alone in the midst of devoted men; he was safe from neighbourly ambushes, ...
— Tales of Unrest • Joseph Conrad

... interests in the South had become so large as to require personal attention; also that he had new enterprises in view. The young man's interest and ambition were naturally kindled. As Mara had taken the Bodines and their affairs as an antidote for her trouble, he sought relief in the preoccupation which the Ainsleys might bring to his mind. Accordingly he met father and daughter at the station and escorted them to the hotel with some degree ...
— The Earth Trembled • E.P. Roe



Words linked to "Preoccupation" :   moving in, idea, hobbyhorse, occupation, preoccupy, abstraction, hang-up, fixation, absentmindedness, cognitive state, obsession, thought, absorption, engrossment, preoccupancy



Copyright © 2018 Dictonary.net