[ aw-fis, of-is ]
See synonyms for: officeoffices on

  1. a room, set of rooms, or building where the business of a commercial or industrial organization or of a professional person is conducted: the main office of an insurance company; a doctor's office.

  2. a room assigned to a specific person or a group of persons in a commercial or industrial organization: Her office is next to mine.

  1. a business or professional organization: He went to work in an architect's office.

  2. the staff or designated part of a staff at a commercial or industrial organization: The whole office was at his wedding.

  3. a position of duty, trust, or authority, especially in the government, a corporation, a society, or the like: She was elected twice to the office of president.

  4. employment or position as an official: to seek office.

  5. the duty, function, or part of a particular person or agency: to act in the office of adviser.

  6. (initial capital letter) an operating agency or division of certain departments of the U.S. Government: Office of Community Services.

  7. (initial capital letter)British. a major administrative unit or department of the national government: the Foreign Office.

  8. Slang. hint, signal, or warning; high sign.

  9. Often offices. something, whether good or bad, done or said for or to another: He obtained a position through the offices of a friend.

  10. Ecclesiastical.

    • the prescribed order or form for a service of the church or for devotional use.

    • the services so prescribed.

    • Also called divine office. the prayers, readings from Scripture, and psalms that must be recited every day by all who are in major orders.

    • a ceremony or rite, especially for the dead.

  11. a service or task to be performed; assignment; chore: little domestic offices.

  12. offices, Chiefly British.

    • the parts of a house, as the kitchen, pantry, or laundry, devoted mainly to household work.

    • the stables, barns, cowhouses, etc., of a farm.

  13. Older Slang. privy.

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 opusopus + -fic-, combining form of facere to make, do1 + -ium-ium

synonym study For office

5. See appointment.

Other words for office

Other words from office

  • of·fice·less, adjective
  • outoffice, noun
  • sub·of·fice, noun

Words that may be confused with office

Words Nearby office Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use office in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for office


/ (ˈɒfɪs) /

    • a room or set of rooms in which business, professional duties, clerical work, etc, are carried out

    • (as modifier): office furniture; an office boy

  1. (often plural) the building or buildings in which the work of an organization, such as a business or government department, is carried out

  1. a commercial or professional business: the architect's office approved the plans

  2. the group of persons working in an office: it was a happy office until she came

  3. (capital when part of a name) (in Britain) a department of the national government: the Home Office

  4. (capital when part of a name) (in the US)

    • a governmental agency, esp of the Federal government

    • a subdivision of such an agency or of a department: Office of Science and Technology

    • a position of trust, responsibility, or duty, esp in a government or organization: the office of president; to seek office

    • (in combination): an office-holder

  5. duty or function: the office of an administrator

  6. (often plural) a minor task or service: domestic offices

  7. (often plural) an action performed for another, usually a beneficial action: through his good offices

  8. a place where tickets, information, etc, can be obtained: a ticket office

  9. Christianity

    • (often plural) a ceremony or service, prescribed by ecclesiastical authorities, esp one for the dead

    • the order or form of these

    • RC Church the official daily service

    • short for divine office

  10. (plural) the parts of a house or estate where work is done, goods are stored, etc

  11. (usually plural) British euphemistic a lavatory (esp in the phrase usual offices)

  12. in office (of a government) in power

  13. out of office (of a government) out of power

  14. the office slang a hint or signal

Origin of 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

Other 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.