[ kuhm-pahrt-men-tl-ahyz, kom-pahrt- ]
/ kəm pɑrtˈmɛn tlˌaɪz, ˌkɒm pɑrt- /
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verb (used with object), com·part·men·tal·ized, com·part·men·tal·iz·ing.
to divide into separate and isolated categories, sections, areas, or compartments: Instead of compartmentalizing tasks, employees can be trained broadly.
Psychology. to mentally separate or set aside (one’s incompatible or negative emotions, beliefs, or behaviors): Ripley, a serial killer, has the capacity to compartmentalize his thoughts, push his conscience conveniently aside, in order to live with himself. Unfortunately, the experiences at work are not easily compartmentalized—they stay with the nurses and affect every aspect of their lives.
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Also especially British, com·part·men·tal·ise .
Origin of compartmentalize
First recorded in 1920–25; compartmental + -ize
OTHER WORDS FROM compartmentalizecom·part·men·tal·i·za·tion [kuhm-pahrt-men-tl-ahy-zey-shuhn, kom-pahrt-], /kəm pɑrtˌmɛn tlˌaɪˈzeɪ ʃən, ˌkɒm pɑrt-/, nounde·com·part·men·tal·ize, verb (used with object), de·com·part·men·tal·ized, de·com·part·men·tal·iz·ing.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
British Dictionary definitions for compartmentalize
/ (ˌkɒmpɑːtˈmɛntəˌlaɪz) /
(usually tr) to put or divide into (compartments, categories, etc), esp to an excessive degree
Derived forms of compartmentalizecompartmentalization or compartmentalisation, noun
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