of·​fice | \ ˈä-fəs How to pronounce office (audio) , ˈȯ- \

Definition of office

1a : a special duty, charge, or position conferred by an exercise of governmental authority and for a public purpose : a position of authority to exercise a public function and to receive whatever emoluments may belong to it
b : a position of responsibility or some degree of executive authority
2 : a prescribed form or service of worship specifically, capitalized : divine office
3 : a religious or social ceremonial observance : rite
4a : something that one ought to do or must do : an assigned or assumed duty, task, or role
b : the proper or customary action of something : function
c : something done for another : service
5 : a place where a particular kind of business is transacted or a service is supplied: such as
a : a place in which the functions of a public officer are performed
b : the directing headquarters of an enterprise or organization
c : the place in which a professional person conducts business
6 offices plural, chiefly British : the apartments, attached buildings, or outhouses in which the activities attached to the service of a house are carried on
7a : a major administrative unit in some governments British Foreign Office
b : a subdivision of some government departments Patent Office

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Choose the Right Synonym for office

function, office, duty, province mean the acts or operations expected of a person or thing. function implies a definite end or purpose or a particular kind of work. the function of language is two-fold: to communicate emotion and to give information — Aldous Huxley office is typically applied to the function or service associated with a trade or profession or a special relationship to others. they exercise the offices of the judge, the priest, the counsellor — W. E. Gladstone duty applies to a task or responsibility imposed by one's occupation, rank, status, or calling. it is the judicial duty of the court, to examine the whole case — R. B. Taney province applies to a function, office, or duty that naturally or logically falls to one. I felt it was not my province to inquire — Anne Brontë

Examples of office in a Sentence

She works at our Chicago office. Are you going to the office today? The supervisor held an informal meeting in his office. Her office is on the top floor near the elevator. He misbehaved in class and was sent to the principal's office. We use the extra bedroom in our house as an office. We stopped by the lawyer's office to pick up some documents. He has been in office for a decade. He was voted out of office. He won the election and will take office at the beginning of the year.
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Recent Examples on the Web Police brutality takes a more prominent role in season 4 of the drama, a group portrait of a Black community from political office to street corner., "At last, 9 returning TV shows to look forward to this spring and summer," 15 Apr. 2021 Former Prime Minister Igor Matovič ordered 2 million doses without consulting with his coalition partners, and was last month ejected from office as a result. David Meyer, Fortune, "Even as nearly 60 countries sign on, big questions still hang over Russia’s Sputnik V COVID vaccine," 14 Apr. 2021 The complaint said Capitol Police confirmed that a laptop was stolen from Pelosi's office on the day of the riot. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, ""I'm a street fighter": Nancy Pelosi says she could have fought Capitol rioters," 14 Apr. 2021 The 47-page investigation report from the Idaho Attorney General's office is harrowing. Rebecca Boone, Star Tribune, "Prosecutor says no criminal charges in jail starvation death," 13 Apr. 2021 Dubiel was edged out in the election, capturing 12.26% of the vote – with the three top vote-getters getting more than double that, according to unofficial election results from the Lake County clerk’s office. Jesse Wright,, "Lake Zurich Village Board approves spending on replacement pumps, though candidate with least votes in April 6 election objected to vendor," 13 Apr. 2021 According to a news release from the governor's office, Hutchinson will speak about Senate Bill 504 and House Bill 1614. Arkansas Democrat-gazette, Arkansas Online, "WATCH LIVE: Governor to speak 1:30 p.m. on teacher salary bills," 12 Apr. 2021 The Town Council scheduled an emergency meeting for Wednesday to discuss his removal from office. Kellie Hwang, San Francisco Chronicle, "Bay Briefing: Windsor mayor's brother joins in calls for his resignation," 12 Apr. 2021 Following a vote to make public a lengthy investigative report into Stonecrest’s use of $6 million in COVID-19 relief funds, a state lawmaker is calling for Gov. Brian Kemp to remove Stonecrest’s mayor from office. Zachary Hansen, ajc, "BREAKING: Senator calls on Gov. Kemp to remove Stonecrest mayor from office," 12 Apr. 2021

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for office

Middle English, "position of authority, duties of a position, proper function, ecclesiastical service, space used for business or domestic functions," borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin officium "beneficial act in fulfillment of an obligation, duty, functions in a position, post" (Late Latin, "ecclesiastical service"), contraction of opificium (attested in sense "constructive work"), from opi- (base of opis, *ops "power, ability" and oper-, opus "work, effort") + facere "to make, do, bring about" + -ium, deverbal suffix of function or state — more at opus, do entry 1

Note: Though officium is formally a contraction of opificium, their senses diverge, the latter noun maintaining a transparent relation to the agent noun opifex "craftsman, artificer."

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Time Traveler for office

Time Traveler

The first known use of office was in the 13th century

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Statistics for office

Last Updated

17 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Office.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for office



English Language Learners Definition of office

: a building or room in which people work at desks doing business or professional activities
: a room with a desk where a particular person works
chiefly US : a building or room where a doctor, lawyer, etc., works and meets with patients or clients


of·​fice | \ ˈȯ-fəs How to pronounce office (audio) \

Kids Definition of office

1 : a place where business is done or a service is supplied a doctor's office
2 : a special duty or position and especially one of authority in government My uncle wants to run for office.



Legal Definition of office

1 : a special duty, charge, or position conferred by governmental authority and for a public purpose qualified to hold public office broadly : a special duty or position of authority hold an office of trust
2 : a place where business or administration is conducted or services are performed
3 : a special administrative department or unit office of the district attorney

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Comments on office

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