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)

Other Words from compartment


compartmental \ kəm-​ˌpärt-​ˈmen-​tᵊl How to pronounce compartment (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 By building this special compartment, the double-membrane vesicle, the virus avoids inducing the production of interferon and interferon-responsive proteins. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 1 Nov. 2021 Stemming from this compartment enables these cartilage cells from the nose to have a higher regenerative capacity than the cartilage cells from a joint — and also a higher plasticity, so the capacity to adapt to a different environment. Elizabeth Cooney, STAT, 5 Sep. 2021 The resort tote is a favorite, with its water resistant bottom compartment to store wet clothes or sandals and roomy open area up top for all the other essentials, like a towel, book, and sunglasses. Madison Flager, Condé Nast Traveler, 20 Aug. 2021 In the deck above this compartment is a hatch for taking in the torpedoes. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, 8 Apr. 2021 An officer and firefighter were called to help remove a cat stuck in the engine compartment of a vehicle at 8:40 a.m. Oct. 9. Joan Rusek, cleveland, 21 Oct. 2021 Its interior is divided into a cargo compartment and a propulsion section. New York Times, 22 Sep. 2021 Pour beans into the top compartment, secure the lid, unscrew the flip-top handle, and slip the turning knob in place — then start grinding., 21 Apr. 2021 And this one is a bit less common than the convertible compartment. Zach Epstein, BGR, 28 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb One flew into the drivers compartment through an open window and struck him in the face, temporarily stunning him. NBC News, 9 June 2021 First came the bone spurs in his ankle and then compartment syndrome (painful pressure buildup from internal bleeding or swelling of tissues) in his calves, both requiring surgery. Glenn Graham,, 27 Oct. 2020 Kushner has not yet been approved to review ‘‘sensitive compartmented information,’’ better known as SCI., 13 July 2018 Kushner has not been approved to review ‘‘sensitive compartmented information,’’ known as SCI. Washington Post,, 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, 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

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The first known use of compartment was circa 1578

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Last Updated

28 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Compartment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on compartment

Nglish: Translation of compartment for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of compartment for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about compartment


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