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

In most industries the idea of a work wardrobe that skips the jacket and tie is hardly news—most offices around the US have been steadily relaxing their sartorial restrictions for years. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Goldman Sachs Just Announced a More Casual Dress Code," 5 Mar. 2019 Sales reps would drop bottles of ice water at dealer offices, asking them to give them a call when the ice melted. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "Why Are Hydro Flask Bottles Suddenly Everywhere?," 23 Feb. 2019 Acosta, who helped Epstein serve his time in an office rather than a prison cell — and measure it in months, not years — oversees Trump’s Labor Department, which is responsible for, among other things, preventing human trafficking. Jane Coaston, Vox, "Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender who is friends with Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, explained," 22 Feb. 2019 That said, office life can present a challenge to even the most robust immune systems. Colleen Stinchcombe, SELF, "These 7 Things at Your Office Are Especially Germy," 22 Feb. 2019 The biggest box-office titan of them all is tying its success in the next decade less to opening-weekend hauls in theaters and more to year-round subscription fees. Erich Schwartzel, WSJ, "Oscar in the Age of Entertainment Overload," 23 Feb. 2019 Rather than being a story sanctioned by the royal family's press office, the interview was reportedly given without prior permission. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Palace Reportedly Didn't Know Meghan Markle's Friends Were Talking to the Press," 9 Feb. 2019 Then there are the new start-up offices, coffee shops, which lack supply closets. Constance Grady, Vox, "On January 1, dozens of literary classics will enter the public domain," 29 Dec. 2018 Trump’s 85 total judicial appointees lag behind five former presidents at comparable points in office. Eric Tucker, The Seattle Times, "AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s untruths on Russia probe, wall, jobs," 6 Feb. 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

12 Mar 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

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