of·fice (ôfĭs, ŏfĭs)
a. A place in which business, clerical, or professional activities are conducted.
b. The administrative personnel, executives, or staff working in such a place: Can your office handle that amount of work?
a. A subdivision of a governmental department: the US Patent Office.
b. A major executive division of a government: the British Home Office.
a. A position of authority, duty, or trust given to a person, as in a government or corporation: the office of vice president.
b. Public position: Is she inclined to seek office?
a. A duty or function assigned to or assumed by someone: Our host performed the office of tour guide. See Synonyms at function.
b. often offices A service or beneficial act done for another: Through her kind offices we were given a room with a view.
5. Ecclesiastical A ceremony, rite, or service, usually prescribed by liturgy, especially:
a. The canonical hours.
b. A prayer service in the Anglican Church, such as Morning or Evening Prayer.
c. A ceremony, rite, or service for a special purpose, especially the Office of the Dead.
6. offices Chiefly British The parts of a house, such as the laundry and kitchen, in which servants carry out household work.
[Middle English, from Old French, duty, from Latin officium; see dhē- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus