Meaning of OFFICE in English


I. ˈȯfə̇s, ˈäf- noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, from Old French, from Latin officium service, kindness, activity, duty, office, alteration of (assumed) opifacium, from opus work + -i- + -facium (from facere to do, make) — more at operate , do


a. : a special duty, charge, or position conferred by an exercise of governmental authority and for a public purpose : a position of authority to exercise a public function and to receive whatever emoluments may belong to it

qualified to hold public office

b. : a position of responsibility or some degree of executive authority

c. : the fact or state of holding a public position of authority

permitting … Socialism to be corrupted by office — Times Literary Supplement


[Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin officium, from Latin]

: a set form of prayer or other religious service drawn up by church authority and sanctioned as the approved usually obligatory form to be used by particular individuals (as clerics) or on particular occasions: as

a. often capitalized : the service of the breviary : divine office

a priest reciting his office

b. : the rites or one of the rites of the missal

the office of the mass

c. : a prayer service (as evensong) used in churches of the Anglican communion


a. : a religious or social ceremonial observance : rite

b. offices plural : rites for the dead


a. : something that one ought to do or must do : an assigned or assumed duty, task, or role

his office was merely to … point the way to new achievements — Frank Thilly

to suppose she would shrink … from the office of a friend — Jane Austen

b. : something that is done or performed by a particular thing : the proper or customary action of something : function

the sentence through its office of assertion — R.M.Weaver

numbed ears refused their proper office of conveying meanings to the mind — Kenneth Roberts

c. : something that a person does for another : service

light the lights for them, the last office of welcome that she would ever be able to do here — New Yorker

d. : inquest of office

5. : a place where a particular kind of business is transacted or a service is supplied: as

a. : a place in which the functions (as consulting, record-keeping, clerical work) of a public officer are performed

b. : the directing headquarters of an enterprise or organization

continuing point of contact of the new student with the college office — Official Register of Harvard University

directives to branch factories were sent out from the New York office

c. : the place in which a professional man (as a physician or lawyer) conducts his professional business

6. offices plural , chiefly Britain : the apartments, attached buildings, or outhouses (as kitchens, pantries, laundries, stables) in which the activities attached to the service of a house are carried on

3 bedrooms, bathroom and compact offices — Country Life

7. : the company whose place of business is in an office ; specifically Britain : an insurance company


a. Britain : a principal branch or division of governmental administration : department

War Office

Colonial Office

b. : a branch or subdivision of governmental administration that ranks (in the national government) below the department

Patent Office

Office of Education

9. slang : privy

10. slang : a private usually covert signal, warning, or cue

in case the boss gives you the office that the cops … are going to investigate — John Scarne & Clayton Rawson

Synonyms: see function

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

transitive verb

obsolete : to appoint to or place in office

intransitive verb

: to maintain or occupy a professional or business office

the old Vienna doctors have always had the habit of officing in their homes — Ernst Waldinger

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.