post office


an office or station of a government postal system at which mail is received and sorted, from which it is dispatched and distributed, and at which stamps are sold or other services rendered.
(often initial capital letter) the department of a government charged with the transportation of mail.
a game in which one player is designated “postmaster” or “postmistress” and calls another player of the opposite sex into an adjoining room, ostensibly to receive a letter but actually to receive a kiss.

Origin of post office

First recorded in 1625–35
Related formspost-of·fice, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for post office

mail, GPO, PO, postmaster

Examples from the Web for post office

Contemporary Examples of post office

Historical Examples of post office

  • He walked down to the post-office, and brought back a letter from the West.

    The Little Colonel

    Annie Fellows Johnston

  • He made a negro an assistant in a post-office where—think of it!

    American Notes

    Rudyard Kipling

  • "No, we 'ain't been so fur's the post-office," answered Mirandy, absently.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • Have the post-office people had news of the loss sent to them?

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • "The post-office must be to blame for this," observed Mr. Channing.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

British Dictionary definitions for post office

Post Office


a government department or authority in many countries responsible for postal services and often telecommunications

post office


a building or room where postage stamps are sold and other postal business is conducted
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 post office

1650s, "public department in charge of letter-carrying," from post (n.3) + office. Meaning "building where postal business is carried on" is from 1650s. In slang or euphemistic sense of "a sexual game" it refers to an actual parlor game first attested early 1850s in which pretend "letters" were paid for by kisses.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper