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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



... when he watched her in the long dusk of the autumn evenings sit motionless in the chimney corner opposite to him, her fingers lying idly on her lap instead of busily prattling some merry nonsense to him, and with a sad preoccupation in her girlish face; then he felt that he had received his own death-blow, and had no more to ...
— Cobwebs and Cables • Hesba Stretton

... inclined to think the destination of the French. Yet, being dependent upon a wind then practically constant in direction, it would not do to yield a mile of ground, except upon a mature, if rapid, deliberation. Nelson's own mind was, by constant preoccupation, familiar beforehand with the bearings of the different conditions of any situation likely to occur, and with the probable inferences to be drawn; his opinions were, so to say, in a constant state of formation and development, ...
— The Life of Nelson, Vol. I (of 2) - The Embodiment of the Sea Power of Great Britain • A. T. (Alfred Thayer) Mahan

... is not altogether such a matter of course as the case of a professor of medicine, who is also a practical physician and surgeon. For, if the cases were identical, preoccupation with Greek and Roman antiquity would be identical with the "science of education." In short, the relationship between theory and practice in the philologist cannot be so quickly conceived. Whence comes his pretension to be a teacher in the higher sense, not only of all scientific ...
— We Philologists, Volume 8 (of 18) • Friedrich Nietzsche

... Washington was at work in the real estate office again, and was alternately in paradise or the other place just as it happened that Louise was gracious to him or seemingly indifferent—because indifference or preoccupation could mean nothing else than that she was thinking of some other young person. Col. Sellers had asked him several times, to dine with him, when he first returned to Hawkeye, but Washington, for no particular ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... fluttered at the compliment. In her present preoccupation, it drew from her only ...
— Other People's Business - The Romantic Career of the Practical Miss Dale • Harriet L. Smith

... wander, with aimless preoccupation, among closely-packed shelves, and in pursuance of this indirection was familiar with the interior of every library in ...
— The Flaw in the Sapphire • Charles M. Snyder

... not afford any excuse for the irrelevancies of ornamental criticism; with him the appearance of form and colour, acted upon by light, the relative values of which flesh and draperies consist with reference to the surrounding medium, all this becomes so evident a preoccupation and a basis for decorative effects, as to give certain of his works an almost startling air of being modern. But this tendency comes to nothing: the men of the sixteenth century appear scarcely to have perceived wherein lay the true excellence of this "Andrea senza errori," ...
— Euphorion - Being Studies of the Antique and the Mediaeval in the - Renaissance - Vol. II • Vernon Lee

... in living, or in death. She simply would not have understood had she been told there was any mystery in these things. One was born, one lived, one died. What was there odd about it? Nor did she see anything mysterious in the intense preoccupation of an insect, or the astounding placidity of a primrose growing at the foot of a tree. An insect—you killed it. A flower—you plucked it. What's ...
— If Winter Comes • A.S.M. Hutchinson

... 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 return ...
— Familiar Spanish Travels • W. D. Howells

... eyes emitting flame, his tongue long, large, and bloody, his tail twisted and raised in the air, and his whole body disgusting to the last degree." He is the one thing that is hated, and the only preoccupation. People fear him, yet ridicule him. One is not even honest with him. In reality, notwithstanding the ferocious appearance of his furnaces, he is the eternal dupe. All the treaties he makes are forced from him ...
— The Dream • Emile Zola

... the heart of each victim in succession. A garland of these hearts was made and hung up on the gate of Tunis. The Arabs regarded the heart as the seat of thought in man, the throne of the will, the center of intellectual existence. In this preoccupation with the hearts of his victims we may therefore trace the jealousy of human life which Ibrahim displayed in his murder of pregnant women, as well as a tyrant's fury against the organ which had sustained his foes ...
— Renaissance in Italy, Volume 1 (of 7) • John Addington Symonds

... instant inference, as in a moment of accountable preoccupation on the part of the elders she had escaped to her own happy and familiar country—the world of out-of-doors—where female relatives seldom intruded, and where the lovely things ...
— New Faces • Myra Kelly

... and with their mental ingenuity developed by the conditions of their life, would learn, I believe, to outwit their master by passive united resistance. They would come to utilise their sex charms as an accessory of success. Thus the unceasing sexual preoccupation of the male, with the emotional dependence it entailed on the females, must, I would suggest, have given women an immense advantage. If I am right here, the patriarch would be in the power of his women, much more surely than they would ...
— The Position of Woman in Primitive Society - A Study of the Matriarchy • C. Gasquoine Hartley

... to Peregrinus is strongly reminiscent of the statement by Robertus Anglicus, already mentioned as an indication of preoccupation with diurnally rotating wheels, at a date (1271) remarkably close to that of the Epistle (1269)—so much so that it could well be thought that the friend to which Peter was writing was either Robert himself ...
— On the Origin of Clockwork, Perpetual Motion Devices, and the Compass • Derek J. de Solla Price

... and heart of the "Apostle" were so absorbed in the great work wherein he was engaged that a skillful and practical partner was absolutely necessary to enable him to prepare for and fully discharge many duties which might properly devolve upon him, but from which his wife in his preoccupation ...
— Woman on the American Frontier • William Worthington Fowler

... 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

... Diane had passed through d'Esgrignon's mind, something like a shudder ran through him when he remembered that he still owed sixty thousand francs, to say nothing of bills to come for another ten thousand. He went back melancholy enough. His friends remarked his ill-disguised preoccupation, and spoke of ...
— The Jealousies of a Country Town • Honore de Balzac

... had left her. She felt as though she could not move unless there was some one somewhere who cared for her. But there was no one. Katherine Mark. No, she certainly could never go there again. Behind all this was the constant preoccupation that she must not look, for an instant, at Uncle Mathew's death. If she did everything would break ... She must not. She must ...
— The Captives • Hugh Walpole

... do not set me down as one who girds at your preoccupation, up here, with bodily games; for, indeed, I hold 'gymnastic' to be necessary as 'music' (using both words in the Greek sense) for the training of such youths as we desire to send forth from Cambridge. But I plead that they should ...
— On the Art of Writing - Lectures delivered in the University of Cambridge 1913-1914 • Arthur Quiller-Couch

... always been a powerful preoccupation of mankind, and the earliest records testify to its antiquity. The regulation of human intercourse, the delimiting of rights and privileges, protection of life and property, the codifying of laws, vague, various and conflicting, the making of new laws ...
— Towards the Great Peace • Ralph Adams Cram

... silent and 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 is taciturn ...
— English Synonyms and Antonyms - With Notes on the Correct Use of Prepositions • James Champlin Fernald

... 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

... saw that Raffles was not dressing, though he had changed his clothes, and this surprised me for all my breathless preoccupation. But I had the reason at a glance through the folding-doors into his bedroom. The bed was cumbered with clothes and an open suit-case. A Gladstone bag stood strapped and bulging; a travelling rug lay ready for rolling ...
— Mr. Justice Raffles • E. W. Hornung

... 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 ...
— English Literature: Modern - Home University Library Of Modern Knowledge • G. H. Mair

... and 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 dejected groom ...
— Terry - A Tale of the Hill People • Charles Goff Thomson

... accordingly sent 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 to gain considerable ...
— England and Germany • Emile Joseph Dillon

... 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 ingenuousness he ...
— The Calico Cat • Charles Miner Thompson

... realities. The chiaroscuro of their experiences is thus so constantly changing and recomposing that—whatever the apparent result of the scene in fact—the dreamer is in retrospect always victor, in the heroic limelight. With Jenny this was a mood, not a preoccupation; but when she had been moved or excited beyond the ordinary she often did tend to put matters in a fresh aspect, more palatable to her self-love, and more picturesque in detail than the actual ...
— Nocturne • Frank Swinnerton

... map, was too much interested in 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

... did the Major question her, but taking up a handful of accounts, he settled himself into the preoccupation in which she had found him, but the moment she went out and closed the door, he got out of his chair and with his hands behind him, walked up and down the room. At the window he halted, and standing there, looked down the river, in the direction of the cape ...
— An Arkansas Planter • Opie Percival Read

... eke out the insufficiency of their husband's salary. This feeling made her refuse all intercourse with Madame Colleville, then very intimate with Francois Keller, whose parties eclipsed those of the rue Duphot. Nevertheless, she mistook the quietude of the political thinker and the preoccupation of the intrepid worker for the apathetic torpor of an official broken down by the dulness of routine, vanquished by that most hateful of all miseries, the mediocrity that simply earns a living; and she groaned at being married to a ...
— Bureaucracy • Honore de Balzac

... 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 ...
— The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man • James Weldon Johnson

... his labors had the character of experiments, which, 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

... Derringham's change towards her. Arabella had been mute and had put it down to the stress of his life. This tension with the foreign State, it leaked out, had been known to the Ministers for a week before it had been made public—that, of course, was the cause of his preoccupation, and she would simply order some especially irresistible garments in ...
— Halcyone • Elinor Glyn

... his friend upon the 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 made his ...
— Harry Escombe - A Tale of Adventure in Peru • Harry Collingwood

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

... one of those brilliant summer days when it is quite impossible to be pessimistic and exceedingly difficult to compass preoccupation. The light breeze bowling over the upland from the sea had just sufficient strength to blow away all mental cobwebs. Also, Christian Vellacott had suddenly given way to one of those feelings which sometimes come to us without apparent reason. The present ...
— The Slave Of The Lamp • Henry Seton Merriman

... 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

... post office, but curiously enough omitted to drop any letters into the box. The breath of fresh air seemed, in fact, to be his sole preoccupation. Moving with a slightly quickened stride, but still easily, he turned out of that street into another even quieter and darker, and in a short time he was nearing the lights of the station. He gave these ...
— Simon • J. Storer Clouston

... Kate, he fancied, look at him the least bit harder; but she was already, in a manner, explaining. "Her preoccupation is probably on two different heads. One of them would make her hurry back, but the other makes her stay. She's commissioned to tell Milly all ...
— The Wings of the Dove, Volume II • Henry James

... 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 ...
— Saracinesca • F. Marion Crawford

... khaki to mufti—and few men can stand up under this transition without losing some of the character of their personal appearance,—he remained a striking figure. There is something wistful in his face—an indescribable look that projects itself not only through you but beyond. It is not exactly preoccupation but a highly developed concentration. This look seemed to be enhanced by the ordeal through which he was then passing. In his springy walk was a suggestion of pugnacity. His whole manner was that of a man in action and who exults in it. Roosevelt had the same ...
— An African Adventure • Isaac F. Marcosson

... 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 ...
— Four-Dimensional Vistas • Claude Fayette Bragdon

... aperture which staggered across the dusty ceiling and down the dustier wall to disappear behind a still dustier map of Carlow County. "That's the trouble!" exclaimed Parker, observing the other's preoccupation. "Soon as you get to writing a line or two that seems kind of promising, you begin to take a morbid interest in that blamed crack. It's busted up enough copy for me, the last eight days, to have filled her up twenty times over. I don't know as I ever care to see ...
— The Gentleman From Indiana • Booth Tarkington

... 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 his assailant, whom he mistook at first for an ordinary foot-pad, ...
— Captain Fracasse • Theophile Gautier

... 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 ...
— Henrik Ibsen • Edmund Gosse

... small corpse between his jaws and went swaggering off toward the house with it, questing kudos. In the garden he met Finn, who with careless good humor strolled toward him, offering a game. Jan tried his best to growl and to turn up his nose at the same time, indicating serious preoccupation with matters more weighty than play. But finding that his hold upon the mouse was gravely endangered by this process, he gave up the attempt, and swaggered on toward the front entrance, followed quizzingly by ...
— Jan - A Dog and a Romance • A. J. Dawson

... movement so leisurely and careless that his purpose was accomplished before the other in his preoccupation was aware of it, the adventurer leaned forward and swept up the prints from the counterpane in ...
— The Lone Wolf - A Melodrama • Louis Joseph Vance

... suspicious. Soft cheeks became rosy at his approach—partly, perhaps, because soft and dainty toes in satin slippers were trodden upon with maternal emphasis at that moment. Soft eyes looked love into eyes that, alas! only returned preoccupation. There was always room on an engagement card for Paul's name. There was always space in the smallest drawing-room for Paul's person, vast though the latter was. There was—fond mothers conveyed it to him subtly after supper and champagne—an ...
— The Sowers • Henry Seton Merriman

... provincial. The story cannot be rightly estimated, it is true, without remembering the Puritan reverence for physical purity, the Puritan reverence for the magistrate-minister—differing so widely from the respect of Latin countries for the priest—the Puritan preoccupation with the life of the soul, or, as more narrowly construed by Calvinism, the problem of evil. The word Adultery, although suggestively enough present in one of the finest symbolical titles ever devised by a romancer, ...
— The American Spirit in Literature, - A Chronicle of Great Interpreters, Volume 34 in The - Chronicles Of America Series • Bliss Perry

... murderer killed his victim with a pistol, it did not say that it was by the discharge of said pistol; and so on. But patience could not endure forever. The decent element of the community was forced at last to beat the rascals. Its apparent indifference had been only preoccupation. ...
— The Forty-Niners - A Chronicle of the California Trail and El Dorado • Stewart Edward White

... us? They are surely twofold, the first concerning the material of politics, the second concerning the men and women of to-day who are called to be citizens. Public affairs, we feel, so far from being a tiresome preoccupation or 'a dirty business' are one of the great permanent interests of the race: if they were not too trivial or too debasing for great artists like Thucydides and Plato, we need not fear lest they be too trivial or debasing for ourselves. And if they are not beneath our ...
— The Legacy of Greece • Various

... as fresh as ever," he answered. "It is true that I have the happy faculty of sleeping when I get a chance and that no preoccupation ...
— The Witch of Prague • F. Marion Crawford

... immediately mention, was that I acted on Vereker's advice: I renounced my ridiculous attempt. I could really make nothing of the business; it proved a dead loss. After all I had always, as he had himself noted, liked him; and what now occurred was simply that my new intelligence and vain preoccupation damaged my liking. I not only failed to run a general intention to earth, I found myself missing the subordinate intentions I had formerly enjoyed. His books didn't even remain the charming things they had been for me; the exasperation of my search put me out of conceit of them. Instead of ...
— The Figure in the Carpet • Henry James

... 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 of aboriginal America, Arthur could not ...
— The Runaway Skyscraper • Murray Leinster

... Through all her 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 wounded men. John didn't matter. John didn't exist. He was nothing ...
— The Romantic • May Sinclair

... stifled. But what was to be done? In that which was left of a clay pigeon he would take not the faintest interest—the scent of it was paltry. Yet always, even in his most cosseted and idle days, he managed to preserve the grave preoccupation of one professionally concerned with retrieving things that smell; and consoled himself with pastimes such as cricket, which he played in a manner highly specialised, following the ball up the moment it left the bowler's ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... not in reality taken much of it. He was watching the Tenor, and it was curious how much older he looked while so engaged. The Tenor must have noticed the change in him, which was quite remarkable, giving him an entirely different character, but for his own preoccupation. As it was, however, ...
— The Heavenly Twins • Madame Sarah Grand

... calls upon him to do. He has not the false shame which renders his northern neighbors awkward, nor the powerful passions which absorb his neighbors of the south. Talking is no effort to him, having none of the natural timidity which begets constraint, and with no constant preoccupation to overcome. He accordingly converses at his ease, ever on the alert, and conversation affords him extreme pleasure. For the happiness which he requires is of a peculiar kind: delicate, light, rapid, incessantly renewed and varied, in which his intellect, his vanity, ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 1 (of 6) - The Ancient Regime • Hippolyte A. Taine

... "people," wards of the nation, childish, irritating, endlessly amusing; of the daily toil of Northern men in managing farms and of Northern women in managing households under Southern and war-time conditions; of the universal preoccupation with negro needs; of the friendly interchange of primitive hospitality; of the underlying sense in the writers' minds of romantic contrast between their own to-day and the yesterday of the planters,—or a possible to-morrow of the ...
— Letters from Port Royal - Written at the Time of the Civil War (1862-1868) • Various

... products of the highest English refinement?" said Mrs. Tallboys, whom in his preoccupation ...
— The Three Brides • Charlotte M. Yonge

... his congregation whom he might happen to meet. This pastoral perambulation not only added importance to him, and made him a figure in Cowfold, but, coming always on Monday, served to give people some notion of a preoccupation during the other days of the week which was forbidden, for mental reasons, on the day after Sunday. On this particular Monday Mr. Broad was passing Mr. Allen's shop, and seeing father and son there, went ...
— The Revolution in Tanner's Lane • Mark Rutherford

... of the local papers, the knots of picketers who 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 ...
— In the Days of the Comet • H. G. Wells

... She had come up to London to find a mission in life. The first great sorrow had fallen upon her home in her absence, and by an inexcusable preoccupation she had perhaps made it impossible to reach home ...
— The Empire Annual for Girls, 1911 • Various

... his wits were sufficiently sharp for that, and he poked sly fun at my preoccupation in the manner some nasty, cynical old men assume toward the dreams and illusions of youth. I, on my side, refrained from questioning him as to the appearance of my ship, though I knew that being in Bangkok every fortnight or so he must have known her ...
— The Shadow-Line - A Confession • Joseph Conrad

... 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 body; whilst the rhythm of duration, and the degree ...
— A New Philosophy: Henri Bergson • Edouard le Roy

... beyond? It is the eternal question asked by the finite of the infinite, by the mortal of the immortal; answer to it there is none save in the unending preoccupation of life and labour. And if this old question was in truth first asked upon the sea-shore, it was asked most often and with the most painful wonder upon western shores, whence the journeying sun was seen to go down and quench himself ...
— Christopher Columbus, Complete • Filson Young

... widely known and have been sung in many lands, chiefly, methinks, by those who delighted in the things of this world. As for the sorrow, the groans, the lamentations of my students when they perceived the preoccupation, nay, rather the chaos, of my mind, it is ...
— Historia Calamitatum • Peter Abelard

... 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 ...
— Between The Dark And The Daylight • William Dean Howells

... I went to the city together. He was very busy looking over papers, and noticing his preoccupation I did not attempt to ...
— John Henry Smith - A Humorous Romance of Outdoor Life • Frederick Upham Adams

... they were forced to choose for themselves between the patronage of the Liberals on the one hand or the Royalists on the other. And Love, moreover, had come to David's heart, and with his scientific preoccupation and finer nature he had not room for the dogged greed of which our successful man of business is made; it choked the keen money-getting instinct which would have led him to study the differences between ...
— Two Poets - Lost Illusions Part I • Honore de Balzac

... 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 ...
— Ten From Infinity • Paul W. Fairman

... thistles, etc., against my statement of the importance of preoccupation. But I am referring especially to St. Helena, and to plants naturally introduced from the adjacent continents. Surely, if a certain number of African plants reached the island and became modified into a complete adaptation to its climatic ...
— Alfred Russel Wallace: Letters and Reminiscences, Vol. 1 (of 2) • James Marchant

... out because she would sooner any fate than such wicked company. Yet, I doubt if he would have written at all if he did not write of Ireland, and for it, and I know that he thought creative art could only come from such preoccupation. Once, when in later years, anxious about the educational effect of our movement, I proposed adding to the Abbey Company a second Company to play international drama, Synge, who had not hitherto opposed me, thought the matter so important ...
— Synge And The Ireland Of His Time • William Butler Yeats

... active to stay quietly at the house of Mr. Huysman. Only their host, Tayoga and he were present at their supper that evening, and, as the man was rather silent, the lads respected his preoccupation, believing that he was concerned with the great affairs in which he was having a part. After supper Tayoga left for the camp on the flats to see an Onondaga runner who had arrived that day, and Mr. Huysman, still immersed in his thoughts, withdrew ...
— The Sun Of Quebec - A Story of a Great Crisis • Joseph A. Altsheler

... preoccupation with that girl you haven't even found the trail by which Manuel escaped. Do you intend to camp outside the house, and make eyes at her when she ...
— Snow-Bound at Eagle's • Bret Harte

... even had she desired, by reason of the extreme agitation into which the incident had thrown her delicate mind and body, "how intensely aggravating a circumstance that we are compelled to entertain so dissolute a one by reason of this person's preoccupation when the matter was read. Nevertheless, it is not unlikely that the detail he spoke of was such as he insisted, to the extent of making it a thing not to be done to journey in any manner by water. It shall be an early ...
— The Wallet of Kai Lung • Ernest Bramah

... in a maze, I might say with truth, frightened. Up to that minute, no suspicion of his purpose or mind regarding me had entered my thoughts. I suppose I was more blind than I ought to have been; and the truth was, that in the utter preoccupation of my own heart, the idea that I could like anybody else but Mr. Thorold, or that anybody else could like me, had been simply out of sight. I knew myself so thoroughly beyond anybody's reach, the prior possession of the ...
— Daisy in the Field • Elizabeth Wetherell

... 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 ...
— The Autobiography of a Journalist, Volume I • Stillman, William James

... patient, the woodman South. Moreover, a black bonnet that she wore by way of mourning unpleasantly reminded him that he had ordered the felling of a tree which had caused her parent's death and Winterborne's losses. She walked and thought, and not recklessly; but her preoccupation led her to grasp unsuspectingly the bar of the gate, and touch it with her arm. Fitzpiers felt sorry that she should have soiled that new black frock, poor as it was, for it was probably her only one. She looked at her hand and arm, seemed but little surprised, ...
— The Woodlanders • Thomas Hardy

... 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 and ...
— Clayhanger • Arnold Bennett

... of her twenty years, with large eyes, soft and luminous. Her natural disposition was evidently a bright and gay one, but this evening sadness overshadowed her, and to such a point that, in spite of her efforts to be lively and pleasant, she could not hide her sad preoccupation. ...
— A Nest of Spies • Pierre Souvestre

... a bit ashamed of my preoccupation, and flung the bit of metal into the grass, poked my key in ...
— Highways in Hiding • George Oliver Smith

... without the other. By them the mind, the will, the heart, which so long had dissipated their energies over a thousand scattered notions, wants, and loves, are gradually detached from their old exclusive preoccupation with the ephemeral interests of the self, or of the group to which the ...
— Practical Mysticism - A Little Book for Normal People • Evelyn Underhill

... and an enjoyment increased by the thought that she was lightening the burden of his business, which she could see pressed more and more. Not that Henderson made any account of his growing occupations, or that any preoccupation was visible except to the eye of love, which is quick to see all moods. These were indeed happy days, full of the brightness of an expanding prosperity and unlimited possibilities of the enjoyment of life. ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... looked at his medical attendant with a sour surprise. There was a latent anxiety in the doctor's eye, a latent preoccupation in the doctor's manner, which he was at a loss to account for. For a moment the two faces confronted each other silently, in marked national contrast—the Scotchman's, long and lean, hard and regular; the German's, plump and florid, soft and shapeless. One face looked as if it had never been young; ...
— Armadale • Wilkie Collins

... see your weppings might get you into trouble at Red Dog, and your 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. ...
— Tennessee's Partner • Bret Harte

... intimacy was of an entirely concealed and respectable nature, but a certain increased preoccupation in his manner set Lady Marayne thinking. He had as a matter of ...
— The Research Magnificent • H. G. Wells

... we have a fresh pattern—a pattern, to speak grossly, of letters—which makes the fourth preoccupation of the prose writer, and the fifth of the versifier. At times it is very delicate and hard to perceive, and then perhaps most excellent and winning (I say perhaps); but at times again the elements of this literal melody stand more boldly forward and usurp the ear. It becomes, therefore, ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 16 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... come moments when the inward preoccupation would give way, and that strong need of loving, which was, after all, the basis of Catherine's character, would break hungrily through, and the wife of their early married days would reappear, though ...
— Robert Elsmere • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... even take the trouble to conceal that he was trying to appease her. Their parting sank to the level of the commonplace for he shook hands hastily, and her look of appeal flattened itself ineffectively against his preoccupation. ...
— Other People's Business - The Romantic Career of the Practical Miss Dale • Harriet L. Smith

... sun, we are here to ease your fall." He then said something in Arabic to Ali, who made a sign of obedience and withdrew, but not to any distance. As to Franz a strange transformation had taken place in him. All the bodily fatigue of the day, all the preoccupation of mind which the events of the evening had brought on, disappeared as they do at the first approach of sleep, when we are still sufficiently conscious to be aware of the coming of slumber. His body seemed to acquire an airy lightness, his perception brightened in a remarkable manner, ...
— The Count of Monte Cristo • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... had a preoccupation now, and he was bent upon doing what he wished to do. Talbot and the two editors rallied him upon his absence of mind, and even Helen, despite her new interest in Wood, looked a little surprised and perhaps a little aggrieved at his inattention; but none of these things had any effect upon ...
— Before the Dawn - A Story of the Fall of Richmond • Joseph Alexander Altsheler

... 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 founder and first ...
— The Life of the Rt. Hon. Sir Charles W. Dilke V1 • Stephen Gwynn

... 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 ...
— To The Front - A Sequel to Cadet Days • Charles King

... political pressure, of course," said Cameron. "But the real reason was simply our preoccupation with making bibliographies of each others' papers. It's going to take a lot of leg work, something in which our formal courses don't give us any basic training. Fothergill understands that—it's why he pushed me so hard with the Foundation. And Riley up there is capable ...
— Cubs of the Wolf • Raymond F. Jones

... a stern face sayest: "Hasten ye: and desist not! How to do not to be able to succeed in it, and how to do to succeed in it?"(462) No! I stop not, for I arrive; let thy preoccupation get calmed: ...
— Egyptian Literature

... quaver in the treble voice, and, forgetting that he was no longer a school-boy, he brushed his eyes furtively with his coat-sleeve, as Jack pretended preoccupation with his shoe-string. ...
— The Iron Game - A Tale of the War • Henry Francis Keenan

... 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 ...
— Jude the Obscure • Thomas Hardy

... 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

... not a vestige of a smile on his face. He does not look at me as he speaks; his eyes are on the long, dead knots of the colorless grass at his feet; in his expression despondency and preoccupation strive ...
— Nancy - A Novel • Rhoda Broughton

... Imperial yellow, inconceivably embroidered with flora, fauna, and grotesques. She always thus visited her husband at breakfast, picking bits off his plate like a bird, and proving to him that her chief preoccupation was ever his well-being and the satisfaction of ...
— Mr. Prohack • E. Arnold Bennett

... dear Mr. Dale, this union, in spite of counter-currents and human arrangements, has been our Willoughby's constant preoccupation," ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... 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 ...
— Chopin: The Man and His Music • James Huneker

... 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 be more indicative of a slight but general insanity than ...
— A Fleece of Gold - Five Lessons from the Fable of Jason and the Golden Fleece • Charles Stewart Given

... Such food is too apt to 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 ...
— The History of Mr. Polly • H. G. Wells

... his sinister smile; it was rather that of the victor who salutes the vanquished in his heart. Meanwhile a more striking and a more subtle change had come over the face of Kilbride. It was not joy, but it was quite a new grimness, and in his own preoccupation the bushranger did not notice it at all. He sauntered nearer with his knife and his tobacco-plug, and there was some compassion ...
— Stingaree • E. W. (Ernest William) Hornung

... 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 if you are right, I am very, ...
— A Knight Of The Nineteenth Century • E. P. Roe

... reflected glory in being the friend of Winckelmann, who was reputed to have profited by his teaching in art. Under the inspiration of Oeser Goethe's interest in the plastic arts in general, which had received its first impulse at home, became a permanent preoccupation for the remainder of his life. He took regular lessons in drawing from Oeser, made acquaintance with all the collections, public and private, to be found in Leipzig, and even made a secret visit to the galleries in Dresden, where, he tells us, he gave his exclusive attention ...
— The Youth of Goethe • Peter Hume Brown

... perished through quite ordinary complaints, like measles, being mysteriously "driven inside." It was a symptom of her low condition that she should worry about her health, which till then had never given her a minute's preoccupation. She consulted "The Family Doctor," and realized the number of diseases she might be suffering from besides suppressed rheumatics—cancer, consumption, kidney disease, diabetes, appendicitis, asthma, arthritis, she seemed to have them all, ...
— Joanna Godden • Sheila Kaye-Smith

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

... he once more threw himself down on the moss couch beneath the palm-trees. There he reclined as before, supported on his elbow, and turned the diamond ring this way and that on his finger in moody preoccupation. ...
— Idolatry - A Romance • Julian Hawthorne

... Randolph did not like—and in regard to her own nursery tastes and avoidance of society;—could that be why Tom sat so much longer in the dining-room and did not come in to talk to his aunt? She began to think with a little ache in her heart, and to remember that in her great preoccupation with the child he had been left to spend many evenings alone, and that he no longer complained of this. She stood up in front of the fire and pressed her hot forehead to the mantel-shelf. How was a woman to know what to do? Was not he ...
— Sir Tom • Mrs. Oliphant

... dropping the handglass, seemed to think help had come with the man he had grown very fond of by this, so he quickly scrambled down and fled to the big pocket of Captain Hosmer's reefer, a movement almost unnoted by the man in his preoccupation. For, practised in self-control as he was, our brave captain knew this was a crucial instant and it needed all his reserve ...
— All Aboard - A Story for Girls • Fannie E. Newberry

... preoccupation and anxiety concerned her son's strength to bear the journey. From day to day the family had been on the point of moving to Avellino, and the departure had been put off because Gianluca's condition seemed altogether too precarious. ...
— Taquisara • F. Marion Crawford

... This excessive preoccupation struck the Queen, who, marking the blandishments of the young coquette and the King's response, guessed the whole future of this encounter; and in her heart was almost glad at it, seeing that my turn ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... 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 of the change must be sought outside of himself, in some external influence strong ...
— The Fruit of the Tree • Edith Wharton

... of the Prince of Moldavia not realised, but, during the next twenty years, the Jews of the Principalities were more cruelly persecuted than ever. The persecution extended beyond the frontiers to Servia, and it soon became the leading preoccupation of the Jews throughout the world. Owing to their protests, the Powers frequently intervened.[34] Rumania then took the impudent course of resenting this interference in her internal affairs, on the ground that, by international comity, they were no concern of foreign ...
— Notes on the Diplomatic History of the Jewish Question • Lucien Wolf

... happy until he is dead: "whether, then, he who has lived and died according to his heart's desire, if he have left an ill repute behind him, and that his posterity be miserable, can be said to be happy?" Whilst we have life and motion, we convey ourselves by fancy and preoccupation, whither and to what we please; but once out of being, we have no more any manner of communication with that which is, and it had therefore been better said by Solon that man is never happy, because never so, ...
— The Essays of Montaigne, Complete • Michel de Montaigne

... particular its extension to man. It is impossible to dispute the legitimacy of this extension. Man has his place in nature; the phenomena of life have one of their signal illustrations in him, and he is as proper a subject of biological study as any other living being. But the intense preoccupation of much of the most vigorous intelligence of our time with the biological study of man is not without effects upon the mind itself, which we need to consider. It tends to produce a habit of mind to which certain assumptions are natural and inevitable, certain other ...
— The Atonement and the Modern Mind • James Denney

... matted; his face was sunken, weather-browned, but bloodless in the colouring. His body seemed struggling for breath without aid from his will, for she saw he was thinking only of her. His intense preoccupation in her half fascinated, half discomforted her, the more so because of the ...
— What Necessity Knows • Lily Dougall

... on the other hand, results from the permanent or temporary predominance of an emotional state. Some aspect of a thing, essential or not, comes into relief, solely because it is in direct relation to the disposition of our sensibility, with no other preoccupation; a quality, an attribute is spontaneously, arbitrarily selected because it impresses us at the given instant—in the final analysis, because it somehow pleases or displeases us. The images of this class have an "impressionist" mark. They are abstractions in ...
— Essay on the Creative Imagination • Th. Ribot

... little and saw less, for at intervals he glanced at the clock, or at his watch, and Peter knew that his obsession had returned. Outside, somewhere in the woods, "Hawk" was approaching to keep his tryst and McGuire could think of nothing else. This preoccupation was marked by a frowning thatch of brow and a sullen glare at vacancy which gave no evidence of the fears that had inspired him, but indicated a mind made up in desperation to carry out his plans, through Peter, whatever ...
— The Vagrant Duke • George Gibbs

... and 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 ...
— Worldly Ways and Byways • Eliot Gregory

... of Albert's sudden production of a cousin from America was so manifest that only his preoccupation at the moment when he met the young man could have prevented him seeing it before. His knowledge of Albert told him that, if one so versed as that youth in the art of Swank had really possessed a cousin in America, he would long ago have ...
— A Damsel in Distress • Pelham Grenville Wodehouse

... 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 ...
— The Man in the Iron Mask • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... passengers jumped out of the flitter, as if only too pleased at their release from the Terran flyer. For the first time Raf was shaken out of his own preoccupation with his dislike for the aliens to wonder if they could be moved by a similar distaste for Terrans. Lablet might be interested in that as a scientific problem—the pilot only knew how he felt and that was ...
— Star Born • Andre Norton

... door behind him, and walked up the passage with the limp which was always more strongly marked in moments of preoccupation. ...
— Ambrotox and Limping Dick • Oliver Fleming

... of certain persons and certain professions, notably priests and nuns, to wear a grave and agitated air on critical occasions. At the moment when Fauchelevent entered, this double form of preoccupation was imprinted on the countenance of the prioress, who was that wise and charming Mademoiselle de Blemeur, Mother Innocente, who ...
— Les Miserables - Complete in Five Volumes • Victor Hugo

... 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 of modern Irish life. But, here and there, ...
— Mount Music • E. Oe. Somerville and Martin Ross

... detective, or anyone else, may of course meet with haps and mishaps on his way to the solution of his puzzle; but an astute writer will not color such incidents too vividly, lest he risk forfeiting our preoccupation with the problem that we came forth for to study. In a word, One thing ...
— Stories by Modern American Authors • Julian Hawthorne

... The preoccupation with form had developed in him as complement of his nature. The nature of Erik Dorn was a shallows. Life did not live in him. He saw it as something eternally outside. To himself he seemed at times a perfect translation of his country and ...
— Erik Dorn • Ben Hecht

... learned. The pupil's attitude to it is just that of having to learn it. Conditions more unfavorable to an alert and concentrated response would be hard to devise. Frontal attacks are even more wasteful in learning than in war. This does not mean, however, that students are to be seduced unaware into preoccupation with lessons. It means that they shall be occupied with them for real reasons or ends, and not just as something to be learned. This is accomplished whenever the pupil perceives the place occupied by the subject matter in ...
— Democracy and Education • John Dewey

... the same moment. It appears that at a few minutes past eleven o'clock, when the President was peacefully smoking a cigar and listening to the conversation of his fair guest (whom he had galvanized into an affected liveliness by alarming remarks on her apparent preoccupation), there fell upon his ear the sound of a loud knocking at the door. Dinner had been served in a small room at the back of the house, and the President could not command a view of the knocker without going out on to the veranda, ...
— A Man of Mark • Anthony Hope

... wild wail of neglected and unappreciated wives. A woman can forgive a beating, but to be forgotten—never. She hates, by instinct, an austere and self-contained character. Dignity and pride repel her; preoccupation keeps her aloof; concentration on ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 5 (of 14) • Elbert Hubbard

... 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 ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... Artemus Ward seemed most effective only when he spoke in weird vernacular through the grotesque mouthpiece of his own invention. Bret Harte sacrificed more and more of the native flavour of his genius in his progressive preoccupation with the more sophisticated refinements of the purely literary. Mark Twain never lost the ruddy glow of his first inspiration, and his style, to the very end, remained as ...
— Mark Twain • Archibald Henderson

... vanity he seeks solace. Goethe, you may be sure, enjoyed the hero-worshipful gaze focussed on him from all the tables of the Caffe' Greco. But not for adulation had he come to Rome. Rome was what he had come for; and the fussers of the coteries must not pester him in his golden preoccupation with the antique world. Tischbein was very useful in warding off the profane throng—fanning away the flies. Let us hope he was actuated solely by zeal in Goethe's interest, not by the desire to swagger ...
— And Even Now - Essays • Max Beerbohm

... 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 ...
— Fabre, Poet of Science • Dr. G.V. (C.V.) Legros

... their novelty, or their fullness. Employed chiefly, during his sojourn in Sweden, in work on mineral chemistry, he has remained all his life the undisputed chief in this branch of science in German universities. This preparation and preoccupation, which one might have thought sufficient to occupy his time, did not, however, prevent him from taking the chief part in the development of organic chemistry, and of filling one of the most ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 362, December 9, 1882 • Various

... of the guests, and he took advantage of the Baroness's preoccupation for their comforts to sit down by Sabina. He did not look at her, and she thought he looked bored, as he sat a moment in silence. Then a thin deputy with a magnificent forehead and thick grey hair began to hold ...
— The Heart of Rome • Francis Marion Crawford

... entirely novel one, I took my usual salt-water bath, dressed, and in due course sat down to breakfast, all the while striving desperately but unsuccessfully to recall the lost clue. My passengers observed my preoccupation, and endeavoured—for some time unavailingly—to withdraw me from it; at length, however, the consciousness dawned upon me that my peculiar behaviour must appear to them decidedly discourteous. I therefore aroused myself, ...
— The Cruise of the "Esmeralda" • Harry Collingwood

... contemplation, with his head bowed over the broad cowhide brogues, that seemed to have already gathered enough of the soil to indicate his right to that title. Mamie, who had recovered her spirits, but had not lost her preoccupation, wandered off by herself in the meadow, or ascended the hillside, as her occasional impatience at the delay of the coach, or the following of some ambitious fancy, alternately prompted her. She was so far away at one time that the stage-coach, which finally ...
— A Millionaire of Rough-and-Ready • Bret Harte

... 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

... 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 political ...
— France and the Republic - A Record of Things Seen and Learned in the French Provinces - During the 'Centennial' Year 1889 • William Henry Hurlbert

... 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

... trotted down the gentler slopes of road, and not until on the steep descent of Wild Water canyon did they rein to a walk. Billy's preoccupation was gone, and Saxon took advantage to broach a subject which had been on her ...
— The Valley of the Moon • Jack London

... north have eyes that are bright and clear; and amongst those from Moghreb, from Morocco and the Sahara, are many whose skins are almost black. But the expression of all the faces is alike: something of ecstasy and of aloofness marks them all; the same detachment, a preoccupation with the self-same dream. And in the sky, to which they raise their eyes, the heavens—framed always by the battlements of El-Azhar—are almost white from the excess of light, with a border of tall, red minarets, which seem to be aglow with the refection of some great fire. And, watching them ...
— Egypt (La Mort De Philae) • Pierre Loti

... the thought in every heart, and yet every intelligence, every energy was bent on the prosecution of the most hateful warfare ever known. In all the universe it seemed to me that the wild animals were the only creatures really exempt from preoccupation about the fray. It might be war for man and the friends of man, but for them had come an unexpected reprieve, and even the more wary soon felt their exemption from pursuit. Man was so busy fighting his own kind that a wonderful armistice had unconsciously arisen between ...
— With Those Who Wait • Frances Wilson Huard

... dramatic work, his portraits of women. The presence of woman is not perhaps relatively so prominent in his work as it is in the work of some other poets; woman is to him neither an exclusive preoccupation, nor a continual unrest; but as faithful and vital representations, I do not hesitate to put his portraits of women quite on a level with his portraits of men, and far beyond those of any other English poet of the last three ...
— An Introduction to the Study of Browning • Arthur Symons

... main preoccupation during all this period. Two discoveries of ancient MSS. made during his stay in London, the one containing a shorter text of the Epistles of St Ignatius, and the other an unknown work On all the Heresies, by ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 4 - "Bulgaria" to "Calgary" • Various

... 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



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



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