from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One of the parts or spaces into which an area is subdivided.
  • n. A separate room, section, or chamber: a storage compartment.
  • transitive v. To compartmentalize: "The information has not been compartmented” ( John H. Cushman, Jr.)

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A room, or section, or chamber
  • n. One of the parts in which an area is subdivided.
  • n. Part of a protein that serves a specific function.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of the parts into which an inclosed portion of space is divided, as by partitions, or lines.
  • n. One of the sections into which the hold of a ship is divided by water-tight bulkheads.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A part separated from the adjoining parts by a partition or other mechanical means: as, the compartments of a steamship or of a European railway-carriage.
  • n. In art, a panel; a cartouche; a coffer; any portion of a work or design separated from the rest by a frame or molding, by being raised or sunk, or in any other way, especially to receive an inscription or a decoration of any kind: as, the compartments of a coffered ceiling; the small sculptured compartments of the portals of the cathedral of Amiens. See cut under calendar.
  • n. Specifically, in heraldry, any partition or division of the field.
  • n. A division or chamber in any part of a plant or of an animal.
  • n. In forestry, the unit of area treated in a working plan. The size and the shape of compartments are determined mainly by topographic features.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a partitioned section, chamber, or separate room within a larger enclosed area
  • n. a space into which an area is subdivided


First attested 1564, from Middle French compartiment, from Italian compartimento, from Late Latin compartiri ("to divide with, to share with"), from com- + partiri ("to apportion, to divide, to share") (Wiktionary)



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