Definition of office in English:


Line breaks: of¦fice
Pronunciation: /ˈɒfɪs


  • 1A room, set of rooms, or building used as a place of business for non-manual work: [as modifier]: an office job
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    • These pesticides are used in schools, churches, business offices, apartment buildings, grocery stores, and homes on a regular basis.
    • The plan is to retain the office building and sub-divide it into offices for small businesses and meeting rooms.
    • She hopped into the truck and backed it into the hangar-like room of the office building.
    place of business, place of work, workplace, workroom, studio; headquarters, base, centre
  • 1.1The local centre of a large business: a company which has four US and four European offices
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    • Claimants will be forced to use call centres instead of local offices.
    • This is me, on my way to their head office and the call centres so I can do away with the lot of them.
    • We need to modernise the Post Office - to give it new business so local offices stay open.
  • 1.2A room, department, or building used to provide a particular service: a ticket office a Post Office
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    • The dole office should provide a form that unemployed people could get stamped to say where they were looking for work.
    • The local tourist offices sell day tickets or contact the Glasgow Angling Centre.
    • The jobs are also passed on to local employment offices where they are either filled or advertised.
  • 1.3North American The consulting room of a professional person: a patient walks in to a doctor’s office
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    • We have visited professors' offices one by one, and announced the event in our classes.
    • For example, in the LEEP environment, students cannot meet for coffee after class or drop into their professors' offices unannounced.
    • I spent many hours in professors' offices, tutorials, and reading groups.
  • 2A position of authority or service, typically one of a public nature: the office of chief constable
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    • She joined the civil service in Dublin in 1980 and was appointed to the office of Public works.
    • Is their a conflict of interest with his professional services and his public office?
    • He also assumed a number of public offices himself - key positions in the state that would never fall to anyone else.
  • 2.1 [mass noun] Tenure of an official position, especially that of a Minister of State or of the party forming the government: a year ago, when the President took office he was ejected from office in 1988
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    • This wave of resistance swept social democratic parties back into office throughout Europe.
    • In that year, the Conservatives took office in Ontario under Premier Mike Harris.
    • The governments that took office in post-war western Europe faced a series of challenges.
  • 2.2 (Office) The quarters, staff, or collective authority of a particular government department or agency: the Foreign Office
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    • The Laois Youth Theatre is an initiative of the Arts Office, Laois County Council.
    • This was reprinted with kind permission of the Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.
    • The performance is promoted by the Arts Office of Laois County Council.
  • 4 (also Divine Office) Christian Church The series of services of prayers and psalms said (or chanted) daily by Catholic priests, members of religious orders, and other clergy.
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    • The Divine Office has always been faithfully kept by lay people - not just clergy, monks and nuns-for centuries.
    • Though she loved the Divine Office and appreciated the Chant, she could not sing two notes in tune.
    • It is not a virtue for the monk… to lack time in which to attend the common recitation of the Divine Office, read a certain amount, and mix with his community.
  • 4.1A service conducted daily as part of the office: the noon office
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    • His book is designed for up to four daily offices (morning, noon, evening and night).
    • Chapters 3 and 4 treat Evening Prayer as a counter to Morning Prayer and the minor offices as occasional rather than daily prayer.
    • A few days after reading this report I opened my Bible to read the lesson for the daily office.
  • 5 (offices) British dated The parts of a house given over to household work or to storage.
  • 5.1 (usually usual offices) • euphemistic A toilet.


Middle English: via Old French from Latin officium 'performance of a task' (in medieval Latin also 'office, divine service'), based on opus 'work' + facere 'do'.

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