com·part·ment | \kəm-ˈpärt-mənt \

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, -mənt\
compartmented; compartmenting; compartments

Definition of compartment (Entry 2 of 2)

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Other Words from compartment


compartmental \kəm-ˌpärt-ˈmen-tᵊl, ˌkäm- \ adjective

Examples of compartment in a Sentence


The suitcase has a zippered compartment for personal items. The refrigerator has a separate compartment for meats.


compartment the responses according to country of origin
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Storage was a crucial factor in the design, and clothing for four people fits in the four white overhead compartments. Megan Barber, Curbed, "This custom camper van can sleep a family of 6," 11 July 2018 The fire appeared to have started near the back of the boat, close to the engine compartment, but its cause remains under investigation. Joe Cavaretta,, "Boat catches fire, sinks, off Fort Lauderdale beach," 25 June 2018 Duren handcuffed both men, then seemed to remove something from the engine compartment — likely a GPS tracker, according to the complaint. Kristina Davis,, "Illegal Philly boarding house where 4 died owned by former San Diego federal agent," 30 Apr. 2018 Investigators found 10 bundles of heroin, wrapped in black and blue tape and hidden within the engine compartment, according to the affidavit. Author: Kyle Hopkins, Anchorage Daily News, "‘I guess I blew that operation’: Police intercept heroin shipment hidden in SUV," 13 Apr. 2018 The problem can cause the clutch pressure plate to fracture, and there is a risk of leaking transmission fluid that ups the risk of an engine-compartment fire, Ford said. Jaclyn Cosgrove,, "Ford recalls 1.4 million Fusion and Lincoln MKZ cars, saying steering wheels could fall off," 14 Mar. 2018 After weeks of investigation, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has concluded that wiring in the engine compartment probably caused two buses to catch fire while making runs this fall. Ann Doss Helms, charlotteobserver, "What caused two CMS buses to burst into flames? Here’s what investigation found.," 19 Jan. 2018 With a nice bright light, scout the engine compartment for any sign of smoke. Mike Allen, Popular Mechanics, "How to Find a Vacuum Leak," 28 Feb. 2011 Storage space consists of small compartments behind the seats, which took me a week to find and barely fit my work bag. Alex Davies, WIRED, "The Delightfully Nonsensical Slingshot Might Just Be the Future of Driving," 4 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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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Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for compartment

The first known use of compartment was circa 1578

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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 \

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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Comments on compartment

What made you want to look up compartment? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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