[ kuhm-pahrt-men-tl-ahyz, kom-pahrt- ]
/ kəm pɑrtˈmɛn tlˌaɪz, ˌkɒm pɑrt- /
Save This Word!

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.
In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help
Also especially British, com·part·men·tal·ise .

Origin of compartmentalize

First recorded in 1920–25; compartmental + -ize

OTHER WORDS FROM compartmentalize

com·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. 2022

British Dictionary definitions for compartmentalize



/ (ˌkɒmpɑːtˈmɛntəˌlaɪz) /

(usually tr) to put or divide into (compartments, categories, etc), esp to an excessive degree

Derived forms of compartmentalize

compartmentalization 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