Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun One of the parts or spaces into which an area is subdivided.
  • noun A separate room, section, or chamber.
  • transitive verb To compartmentalize.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Specifically, in heraldry, any partition or division of the field.
  • noun A division or chamber in any part of a plant or of an animal.
  • noun 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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")

Examples

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