com·​part·​men·​tal·​ize | \kəm-ˌpärt-ˈmen-tə-ˌlīz, ˌkäm-\
compartmentalized; compartmentalizing

Definition of compartmentalize 

transitive verb

: to separate into isolated compartments or categories

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Other Words from compartmentalize

compartmentalization \ kəm-​ˌpärt-​ˌmen-​tə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən , ˌkäm-​ \ noun

Examples of compartmentalize in a Sentence

He compartmentalizes his life by keeping his job and his personal life separate. The company has compartmentalized its services.

Recent Examples on the Web

But these voices are compartmentalized in the usual fashion of contemporary museum design, which tends to an a la carte approach to history. Philip Kennicott, kansascity, "St. Louis’ Gateway Arch emerges with new name, skeptical view of western expansion," 3 July 2018 Britain typically uses a passive approach to fire response, in which firefighters try to compartmentalize a blaze, while residents stay in their apartments, usually fitted with doors and materials that protect them from smoke and fire outside. Angela Dewan, CNN, "Grenfell fire: London police investigating fire brigade's 'stay put' advice," 7 June 2018 As a kid, my life was compartmentalized into different parts, different beings, different versions of self. Tommy Dorfman, Teen Vogue, "Tommy Dorfman Shares What It's Like to Wear Gendered Clothes as a Non-Binary Person," 26 June 2018 Sports fans are experienced in compartmentalizing scandal from success. Shannon Ryan,, "March Madness will be as fun as always, but specter of scandal looms," 11 Mar. 2018 Its kitchen is capable of feeding 1,000 people at a time and its compartmentalized design allows the venue to host up to eight private events at one time. Pam Kragen,, "Huge 'eatertainment' complex Punch Bowl Social debuts in East Village," 8 June 2018 But then, given the industry’s infuriating habit of insulting and compartmentalizing the public’s taste, the obvious sometimes bears repeating. Justin Chang,, "Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett pull off an enjoyable, low-fizz heist in 'Ocean's 8'," 6 June 2018 Those of us in this tribe learn to compartmentalize. Patti Davis, Town & Country, "Ronald Reagan's Daughter Patti Davis On the High Cost of Being a Political Daughter," 31 Oct. 2016 In a sign that the three partners are trying to compartmentalize their differences, EU, Japan and U.S. officials will once again meet in Paris on the OECD sidelines. Emre Peker, WSJ, "EU’s Trade Chief to Press U.S. Counterparts on Tariffs Wednesday," 28 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'compartmentalize.' 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 compartmentalize

1925, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for compartmentalize

The first known use of compartmentalize was in 1925

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More Definitions for compartmentalize



English Language Learners Definition of compartmentalize

: to separate (something) into sections or categories

: to separate (two or more things) from each other

: to put (something) in a place that is separate from other things

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