See more synonyms for compartment on
  1. a part or space marked or partitioned off.
  2. a separate room, section, etc.: a baggage compartment.
  3. U.S. Railroads. a private bedroom with toilet facilities.
  4. a separate aspect, function, or the like: the compartments of the human mind.
  5. Architecture. a distinct major division of a design.
  6. Heraldry. a decorative base, as a grassy mound, on which the supporters of an escutcheon stand or rest.
verb (used with object)
  1. to divide into compartments.

Origin of compartment

1555–65; < Middle French compartiment < Italian compartimento. See compart, -ment

Synonyms for compartment

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for compartment

Contemporary Examples of compartment

Historical Examples of compartment

  • A jolly tanner observes: "I'll get a compartment to oursels."

  • My sharing his compartment had evidently produced an unpleasant impression.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • The brother had the compartment next to that woman, with the big dog.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • The Ring Master now passed, raised his hat and entered his compartment.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • Then Ossipon came back, saying: “I told him not to let anybody get into our compartment.”

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

British Dictionary definitions for compartment


  1. one of the sections into which an area, esp an enclosed space, is divided or partitioned
  2. any separate part or sectiona compartment of the mind
  3. a small storage space; locker
Derived Formscompartmental (ˌkɒmpɑːtˈmɛntəl), adjectivecompartmentally, adverb

Word Origin for compartment

C16: from French compartiment, ultimately from Late Latin compartīrī to share, from Latin com- with + partīrī to apportion, from pars part
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for compartment

1560s, from Middle French compartiment "part partitioned off" (16c.), through Italian compartimento, from Late Latin compartiri "to divide," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + partis, genitive of pars "part" (see part (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper