Definition of compartment in English:

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Pronunciation: /kəmˈpɑːtm(ə)nt/


1A separate section or part of a structure or container: there’s some ice cream in the freezer compartment
More example sentences
  • He found a large plastic container in the freezer compartment of the refrigerator containing what appeared to be frozen soup.
  • The lower section even contains a compartment offering an additional five litres of storage space.
  • Similar to an airplane meal in presentation, the food is served in various compartments of a square container that can be used for everything from a takeout lunch to a well-balanced supper.
section, part, partition, bay, recess, chamber, cavity, niche, nook, hollow;
pocket, pouch, receptacle
1.1A division of a railway carriage marked by partitions: a first-class compartment
More example sentences
  • The teak-bodied carriage has two first-class compartments - one for smokers and the other for non-smokers - and two toilets.
  • As the railway compartment became a popular venue for fictional mayhem when crime fiction flowered from the later Victorian years almost all cases involved men attacking men.
  • For the time being, home was a railway compartment with a very hard bunk, in a train which made many inexplicable stops.
1.2A division of a ship’s hull: the aft cargo compartment
More example sentences
  • The ‘ship’ is equipped with a bridge, crew's cabins and engine and lower deck compartments to make the training as authentic as possible.
  • Additionally an escape hatch in the forward and after compartments of the pressure hull were fitted, an innovation which saved many lives during the war.
  • The thing that has limited our ability to put women to sea has been the time and cost to modify the berthing compartments on existing ships.
1.3An area in which something can be considered in isolation from other things: religion and politics should be kept in different compartments
More example sentences
  • Inside our head there are various departments, compartments, areas and domains that contain information.
  • She worked to the eighth month and it tricked her into thinking she was in control, that she could open and shut the drawers of the different compartments of her life at will.
  • You've got to talk about soccer in two different compartments: in the recreational community end, it actually has continued to grow, indeed prosper, in spite of the poor administration at the top end.
domain, field, sphere, realm, area, department, sector, section, division, part;
category, pigeonhole, bracket, class, group, set
2 Heraldry A grassy mound or other support depicted below a shield.


[with object]
Divide (something) into separate parts or sections: the buildings are to be compartmented by fire walls
More example sentences
  • Their work is highly compartmented to a small group of people, probably living in a cave somewhere, and our country doesn't keep secrets very well.
  • I mentioned the plot was tightly compartmented.
  • You didn't even need a specially compartmented top-secret clearance to divine what was going on in the case.



Pronunciation: /kəmpɑːtmɛnˈteɪʃ(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • It's a direct violation of basic tradecraft and the principle of compartmentation.
  • But he made no findings as to what additional costs would have been involved if EPS panels had been replaced in the areas adjacent to the flues and if compartmentation had been introduced.
  • This hair-raising essay is implicitly a powerful argument for alternative analysis, interagency intelligence sharing, and the breaking down of compartmentation.


Mid 16th century: from French compartiment, from Italian compartimento, from compartire, from late Latin compartiri 'divide'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: com|part|ment

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