com·​part·​ment | \ kəm-ˈpärt-mənt How to pronounce compartment (audio) \

Definition of compartment

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a separate division or section
2 : one of the parts into which an enclosed space is divided


com·​part·​ment | \ kəm-ˈpärt-ˌment How to pronounce compartment (audio) , -mənt \
compartmented; compartmenting; compartments

Definition of compartment (Entry 2 of 2)

Other Words from compartment


compartmental \ kəm-​ˌpärt-​ˈmen-​tᵊl How to pronounce compartment (audio) , ˌkäm-​ \ adjective

Examples of compartment in a Sentence

Noun The suitcase has a zippered compartment for personal items. The refrigerator has a separate compartment for meats. Verb compartment the responses according to country of origin
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Everyone will appreciate the appointments within the XC90’s passenger compartment. Michael Harley, Forbes, 23 Dec. 2021 Alejandro Núñez Vicente's Chaise Longue dual-level airplane cabin design eliminates the overhead luggage compartment to create a double-decker airplane seat configuration. Francesca Street, CNN, 14 Dec. 2021 Photos from the scene showed victims strewn across the pavement and inside the truck’s freight compartment. NBC News, 9 Dec. 2021 This is hands-down the best toiletry bag for packing adequately-sized toiletries in one compartment and makeup in another. Rachel King, Fortune, 3 Dec. 2021 Crossgrain leather with eight credit card slots and full-length bill compartment. Mark Heim |, al, 29 Nov. 2021 The seats are wrapped in dark brown Heritage Testa di Moro leather with silver cross-stitching, while the rear bench and luggage compartment are decked out in oak trim with carbon fiber accents. Caleb Miller, Car and Driver, 11 Nov. 2021 Instead of hydraulics in the floor that permit characters to descend into hell, the journey is made via a compartment upstage that opens and closes like a restaurant dumbwaiter. Washington Post, 16 Oct. 2021 The base model’s cargo compartment measures 26.5 cubic feet behind the rear seats, one of the largest among subcompact SUVs. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 18 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb One flew into the drivers compartment through an open window and struck him in the face, temporarily stunning him. NBC News, 9 June 2021 First came the bone spurs in his ankle and then compartment syndrome (painful pressure buildup from internal bleeding or swelling of tissues) in his calves, both requiring surgery. Glenn Graham,, 27 Oct. 2020 Kushner has not yet been approved to review ‘‘sensitive compartmented information,’’ better known as SCI., 13 July 2018 Kushner has not been approved to review ‘‘sensitive compartmented information,’’ known as SCI. Washington Post,, 13 July 2018 Sharing highly compartmented, classified information with Russians is a theatrical distraction from the greater good of polluting streams, enabling predatory financial practices, cutting taxes, and taking people’s health care away. Brian Beutler, New Republic, 16 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'compartment.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of compartment


circa 1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1918, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for compartment


Middle French compartiment, from Italian compartimento, from compartire to mark out in parts, from Late Latin compartiri to share out, from Latin com- + partiri to share, from part-, pars part, share

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The first known use of compartment was circa 1578

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Last Updated

20 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Compartment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for compartment



English Language Learners Definition of compartment

: an enclosed space or area that is usually part of something larger and is often used to hold a specific thing
: one of the separate areas of an automobile, train, or airplane


com·​part·​ment | \ kəm-ˈpärt-mənt How to pronounce compartment (audio) \

Kids Definition of compartment

1 : a small chamber, receptacle, or container The suitcase has compartments for personal items.
2 : one of the separate areas of a train, airplane, or automobile

More from Merriam-Webster on compartment

Nglish: Translation of compartment for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of compartment for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about compartment


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