office

noun
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

Most offices and such are air-conditioned these days, but getting home after a hot day’s work was no fun. Carl Nolte, SFChronicle.com, "A hot day in San Francisco? That’s earthquake weather," 15 June 2019 Officers found the suspect Thursday afternoon in the front seat of his SUV at Tamaques Elementary School in Westfield, according to the Union County prosecutor's office. Kelly Murray, CNN, "Man is arrested outside an elementary school in NJ with a gun and 130 rounds of ammo, authorities say," 15 June 2019 About the place: Sandwiched between a Realtor's and attorney's offices along Main Street, the restaurant has about 16 tables and seats about eight at the bar. Marc Bona, cleveland.com, "Element 41: Northeast Ohio’s best weekend brunches, breakfasts," 15 June 2019 Another one of the group's members, Lucy McBath, also looked to elected office after Clinton's campaign. Christal Hayes, USA TODAY, "Trayvon Martin's mom says Hillary Clinton 'planted the seed' for her to run for office in Florida," 15 June 2019 Sitting in a London office, Mr Merton gives an illustrative example. The Economist, "Robert Merton and the effect of time on portfolio choice," 15 June 2019 Neither McConnell's office nor the Bevin campaign immediately responded to a request for comment on Saturday. Phillip M. Bailey, The Courier-Journal, "McConnell was behind kicking Jenean Hampton off Bevin's reelection ticket, fired aide says," 15 June 2019 Wills Wharf is described as a mixed-use office and hotel. Jacques Kelly, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore's Harbor Point becomes a Cinderella story for an industrial site people once avoided," 15 June 2019 Is the relationship between your office and the union a productive one at this point? Peter Abraham, BostonGlobe.com, "Q&A with baseball commissioner Rob Manfred," 15 June 2019

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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Statistics for office

Last Updated

18 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for office

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

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More Definitions for office

office

noun

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

office

noun
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.

office

noun
of·​fice

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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More from Merriam-Webster on office

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for office

Spanish Central: Translation of office

Nglish: Translation of office for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of office for Arabic Speakers

Comments on office

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