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)

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The tray looks like a fancy hubcap, with compartments filled with naan, basmati rice, a piece of aloo tikki, salad, stewed lentils, baingan bharta, cabbage and a protein of your choice. Soleil Ho,, "Spice of America, the most interesting Indian restaurant in San Francisco, is hiding in plain sight," 6 Sep. 2019 Engineers at Honda R&D Americas, based near Columbus, Ohio, worked with airbag manufacturer Autoliv to create a bag that inflates into something approximating a baseball catcher’s mitt, with three inflated compartments. Eric Adams, WIRED, "Honda's New Airbag Catches Your Head to Save Your Brain," 24 Aug. 2019 Other airlines, including Delta and Alaska, are also adding Airbus and Boeing aircraft that come with larger overhead compartments. Hugo Martin, Los Angeles Times, "Airlines add bigger luggage bins but don’t want you to pack more," 1 Aug. 2019 The kitchen is defined by an appliance wall and an island with storage compartments and breakfast seating. Pamela Dittmer Mckuen,, "A peek inside Lincoln Common: Near-identical apartment towers offer luxury living at former Children’s Memorial Hospital site," 22 July 2019 Video that showed the new 'Vette’s two cargo compartments — one in the nose, one behind the engine — holding two golf bags or a five-piece luggage set that was designed to fill the previous model’s roomy hatchback. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Stingray's price and features draw gasps," 19 July 2019 To heat meals, the crew used a food warmer tray, a tidy contraption with separate compartments that used conduction to heat meal packages. Sarah-grace Mankarious, CNN, "Floating food: The history of eating in space," 19 July 2019 And, since the Semihandmade fronts can go right on the Ikea cabinetry, the Marcums could use all of their more specialized cabinetry, like drawers with multiple compartments, and still achieve a uniform look with the Semihandmade fronts. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "How The Duo Behind "Chris Loves Julia" Made a Super Luxe Looking Kitchen with IKEA Cabinets and a $99 Rug," 19 July 2019 With useful compartments like a side zipper pocket and a magnetic front pocket, this piece is perfect for everyday carry. Popular Mechanics, "Grab This High-Quality Leather Travel Bag at 15% Off," 29 Mar. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about compartment

Statistics for compartment

Last Updated

4 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for compartment

The first known use of compartment was circa 1578

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


a calculated move

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!