occupy (someone or oneself) with (something)
To keep oneself or someone else busy or distracted with some activity or thing. A: "It might take a while for this to finish up." B: "Don't worry about me, I can occupy myself with a book." Dan's occupying the kids with a bug hunt in the back yard.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
occupy someone with something
to keep someone busy with something. Can you occupy the child with this toy? Here, occupy yourself with this crossword puzzle.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. To fill, hold, or control some place through some set of things or people: The army occupied the town with their third division. The town built new office buildings and occupied them with workers from the health department.
2. To fill some period of time by engaging in or with something: I occupied my spare time with books. You'll never be able to occupy your entire morning with writing.
3. To engage someone in some activity or some object of attention: The teacher occupied the students with their science projects for the morning. During the cold winter afternoons, we occupied ourselves with card games.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.