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

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 But instead of holding tools, the trailer has three tight compartments, each with a shower stall and tiled floor., "‘The Soupman’ is bringing a mobile shower and good intentions to homeless people," 29 Nov. 2019 The dogs start slowly with a progressive training, all positive reinforcement with treats and a clicker, moving from boxes either empty or containing illicit food items to more complicated luggage with its zippers and multiple compartments. Laura Reiley, Washington Post, "Ham’s best friend: The beagle brigade is the last line of defense against African swine fever in U.S.," 27 Nov. 2019 Each of the 24 compartments holds a gift in a Tiffany blue box. Leanne Italie,, "Advent calendars have exploded with gift-worthy options," 25 Nov. 2019 The 187-piece kit features everything from sleeping compartments to fitness equipment and a lab for analyzing samples. Time For Kids, Time, "The Best Toys of 2019," 22 Nov. 2019 The carry-on features two compartments with a compression pad (to fit more in), plus a bag to house dirty laundry. Jessica Migala, NBC News, "18 travel gifts that make traveling better and easier in 2019," 21 Nov. 2019 To test whether this theory held in the real world, the researchers built a roughly 1-meter-long tube with various compartments that ignited hydrogen gas, subjected it to turbulence, and measured the effects. Edd Gent, Science | AAAS, "Supernovae and chemical explosions have a lot in common, video reveals," 31 Oct. 2019 The convertible doesn’t affect the coupe’s front storage compartment, which Chevy said can handle a typical piece of airline carry-on luggage and a laptop bag. Jeff Yip, Houston Chronicle, "2020 mid-engine Corvette convertible to feature retractable hardtop," 11 Oct. 2019 Zommer-Tal remembers wheeling in a car that had a special compartment used to smuggle people into West Berlin. Ruby Mellen, Washington Post, "Four unexpected places where the Berlin Wall still stands," 8 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for compartment

Time Traveler

The first known use of compartment was circa 1578

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Statistics for compartment

Last Updated

2 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Compartment.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 11 December 2019.

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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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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).


heavy with or as if with moisture

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