[ aw-fis, of-is ]
/ ˈɔ fɪs, ˈɒf ɪs /


Origin of office

1200–50; Middle English < Old French < Latin officium service, duty, ceremony, presumably contraction of opificium, equivalent to opi-, combining form akin to opus opus + -fic-, combining form of facere to make, do1 + -ium -ium
Related formsof·fice·less, adjectiveout·of·fice, nounsub·of·fice, noun
Can be confusedoffice orifice

Synonym study

5. See appointment. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for office

British Dictionary definitions for office


/ (ˈɒfɪs) /


Word Origin for office

C13: via Old French from Latin officium service, duty, from opus work, service + facere to do
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 office



mid-13c., "a post, an employment to which certain duties are attached," from Anglo-French and Old French ofice "place or function; divine service" (12c. in Old French) or directly from Latin officium "service, kindness, favor; official duty, function, business; ceremonial observance," (in Ecclesiastical Latin, "church service"), literally "work-doing," from ops (genitive opis) "power, might, abundance, means" (related to opus "work;" see opus) + stem of facere "do, perform" (see factitious). Meaning "place for conducting business" first recorded 1560s. Office hours attested from 1841.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with office


see box office; front office; land-office business; take office.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.