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)

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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 The larger fragments were from the compartment allocated for the second touchdown on Ryugu, said Tomohiro Usui, space materials scientist. Mari Yamaguchi,, "Japanese spacecraft’s gifts: Asteroid chips like charcoal," 24 Dec. 2020 Direct contact with the engine cover in the passenger compartment may cause burns to the driver or front passenger, Ford said. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Ford recalls 2021 E-series for burn risk, 2020-21 Explorer and Aviators for power loss," 23 Dec. 2020 And like its predecessor, the Yoyo2 is small enough to fit in tight spaces, from an airplane’s overhead compartment to the snug trunk of your classic Fiat rental in Tuscany. Stirling Kelso, Condé Nast Traveler, "8 Foldable, Lightweight Strollers for Travel," 3 Dec. 2020 The crew compartment would be made from an unused hydrogen fuel tank that would be launched as a payload in the upper stage of the rocket. Daniel Oberhaus, Wired, "The Plan to Turn Scrapped Rockets Into Space Stations," 11 Nov. 2020 Mesh pouches on either side of the central compartment are logical spots for wind checkers. John B. Snow, Outdoor Life, "The 8 Best Binocular Chest Packs, Tested," 4 Nov. 2020 So, if it’s been packed in a passenger compartment of an SUV, the fuel or fumes associated with it won’t be released. Bradley Ford, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Portable Generators to Keep Your Home Running," 9 Dec. 2020 Our second-class tickets bought us each a bed in a four-bunk compartment with a little table for reading or eating. Julian Walter, Condé Nast Traveler, "Riding through Russia on the Trans-Siberian Railway," 8 Dec. 2020 All of this machinery is attached as simply and efficiently as possible to a passenger carrying compartment of four persons capacity. Car and Driver, "1973 Honda Civic," 18 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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,, "After beating cancer, former Maryland star Chris Odoi-Atsem reaching goals for D.C. United," 27 Oct. 2020 Kushner has not yet been approved to review ‘‘sensitive compartmented information,’’ better known as SCI., "Limits put on security clearance for Jared Kushner," 13 July 2018 Kushner has not been approved to review ‘‘sensitive compartmented information,’’ known as SCI. Washington Post,, "Trump falsely claims for a third time that Reagan lost Wisconsin, but he was able to win it," 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, "“No Drama” McConnell is turning the cynical subtext of the GOP’s devil’s bargain with Trump into text.," 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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Time Traveler for compartment

Time Traveler

The first known use of compartment was circa 1578

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Statistics for compartment

Last Updated

8 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Compartment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for compartment


How to pronounce compartment (audio)

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

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