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 compartmental (audio) , 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

The plan involves augmenting planes with 12 additional seats, bigger overhead compartments, and electrical outlets in passenger seats. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "American Airlines Grounded 14 Planes For Overhead Bin Issues—But a Union Official Says There's More to It," 8 Mar. 2019 There are straps to keep the bedding in place, and a zippered compartment for pillows, too. Maya Mcdowell, House Beautiful, "Every Apartment Needs A Sofa That Transforms Into A Bunk Bed," 28 Jan. 2019 The agency said at the time that companies should provide more buoyancy, such as watertight compartments, to ensure boats remained upright and afloat in the event of flooding, according to the lawsuit. Kris Maher, WSJ, "Family of Duck Boat Victims Sues Tour Operator," 30 July 2018 Water got into the engine compartment, causing the engine to stall and setting the vessel adrift. Heather Hollingsworth, The Seattle Times, "Duck boat probe will check if Coast Guard rules were ignored," 24 July 2018 Customers who order from home via the app can then come to the store and can swipe their smartphone screen to unlock a compartment, like a vending machine. David Pan, USA TODAY, "Can you 'crowdsource' a store? Nike is about to find out," 12 July 2018 Rye sniffed out meth hidden in two hidden compartments, one under the driver’s seat and one under the front passenger’s seat, authorities said. Hailey Branson-potts,, "In its first bust, West Covina police dog finds 60 pounds of meth in car," 21 May 2018 Day gave Shehan his permission to handle the gun after Shehan found the secret compartment, the court said. Drew Broach,, "After French Quarter robbery, police release picture of two suspects," 17 Mar. 2018 When not needed, the divider hides down below in the spare-tire compartment. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "2019 Chevy Blazer Test Drive: What Happened When GM Tried To Make the Crossover Cool," 4 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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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Statistics for compartment

Last Updated

25 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for compartment

The first known use of compartment was circa 1578

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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

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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).


to boil down or concentrate

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