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office

[ aw-fis, of-is ]
/ ˈɔ fɪs, ˈɒf ɪs /
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noun

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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 FROM office

of·fice·less, adjectiveoutoffice, nounsub·of·fice, noun

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH office

office , orifice
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

VOCAB BUILDER

What is an office?

An office is a room, rooms, or a building where business is conducted, as in I gave my sister a ride to the doctor’s office.

An office is also a designated room where a person does their work, as in Dr. Brown’s office is the second one on the left down the hall. 

Office can more generally refer to an entire business or organization, as in I got a new job at an accountant’s office. 

Office can also refer to a business’s entire staff or a specific part of it, as in The birthday cake was shared with the entire office. 

Finally, office is also a position of authority or the duties of such a position, such as The office of the President of the United States. 

Example: The lawyer spent most of her time at her office in the law firm rather than actually going to court. 

Where does office come from?

The first records of the word office come from around 1200. It ultimately comes from the Latin officium, meaning “service” or “duty,” made from combining opus, meaning “work,” and facere, meaning “to do.” The word office often refers to the place where you work or the duties you are responsible for as part of your work.

Office is a common word that some people are unhappy to hear because it reminds them of their job. Middle management jobs are often referred to as “office jobs” because you usually have your own office or you work in a cubicle in your company’s office.

These jobs in particular are often depicted in popular culture as being especially boring and bureaucratic. The word office has been used in popular works that humorously depict such jobs, like the comedy film Office Space (1999) and the both the British version of the comedy TV series “The Office” (1995) and the American version (2001).

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to office?

  • officeless (adjective)
  • outoffice (noun)
  • suboffice (noun)

What are some synonyms for office?

What are some words that share a root or word element with office

What are some words that often get used in discussing office?

How is office used in real life?

Office is a very common word that is often used to describe a person’s job or workplace.

Try using office!

True or False?

The word office can refer to an entire building where a company performs business and to a single room where one specific employee works.

How to use office in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for office

office
/ (ˈɒfɪs) /

noun

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

Idioms and Phrases with office

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.
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