[aw-fis, of-is]


Nearby words

  1. offering,
  2. offering price,
  3. offertory,
  4. offhand,
  5. offiah,
  6. office automation,
  7. office bearer,
  8. office block,
  9. office boy,
  10. office girl

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



  1. a room or set of rooms in which business, professional duties, clerical work, etc, are carried out
  2. (as modifier)office furniture; an office boy
(often plural) the building or buildings in which the work of an organization, such as a business or government department, is carried out
a commercial or professional businessthe architect's office approved the plans
the group of persons working in an officeit was a happy office until she came
(capital when part of a name) (in Britain) a department of the national governmentthe Home Office
(capital when part of a name) (in the US)
  1. a governmental agency, esp of the Federal government
  2. a subdivision of such an agency or of a departmentOffice of Science and Technology
  1. a position of trust, responsibility, or duty, esp in a government or organizationthe office of president; to seek office
  2. (in combination)an office-holder
duty or functionthe office of an administrator
(often plural) a minor task or servicedomestic offices
(often plural) an action performed for another, usually a beneficial actionthrough his good offices
a place where tickets, information, etc, can be obtaineda ticket office
  1. (often plural)a ceremony or service, prescribed by ecclesiastical authorities, esp one for the dead
  2. the order or form of these
  3. RC Churchthe official daily service
  4. short for divine office
(plural) the parts of a house or estate where work is done, goods are stored, etc
(usually plural) British euphemistic a lavatory (esp in the phrase usual offices)
in office (of a government) in power
out of office (of a government) out of power
the office slang a hint or signal

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.