Definition of office in English:



  • 1A room, set of rooms, or building used as a place of business for non-manual work:

    [as modifier] ‘an office job’
    • ‘Gillian finds it a juggling act fitting her duties around her demanding job an office manager but believes it is worth it.’
    • ‘As difficult as the artist's life is, and as infrequent as the pay checks can sometimes be, I'll take it over the office job any day.’
    • ‘The new building will contain administration offices and meeting rooms and will cost approximately 2 million baht.’
    • ‘Now she has totally abandoned her dream of becoming a film star and taken a job as an office clerk.’
    • ‘Everyone seems to just want an office job, something nice and easy nowadays.’
    • ‘Inside the interior had the appearance of a normal office building, it's employees decked out in simple black suits.’
    • ‘Now she is not too sure if she wants to return to her office job.’
    • ‘The men handle cash crops if there are any, and may have jobs fishing or building, or in offices in the cities.’
    • ‘She then took an office job to help her get by while she wrote short stories, novels and poems.’
    • ‘These pesticides are used in schools, churches, business offices, apartment buildings, grocery stores, and homes on a regular basis.’
    • ‘She hopped into the truck and backed it into the hangar-like room of the office building.’
    • ‘You can go back to work after about six weeks if you have an office job.’
    • ‘Most of the office space that appears on the market in the second half is also in the suburbs of Sofia.’
    • ‘He was subsequently ordered to leave the building and did not appear in the office on Saturday.’
    • ‘He used the office intercom to order coffee and biscuits for five.’
    • ‘The plan is to retain the office building and sub-divide it into offices for small businesses and meeting rooms.’
    • ‘The office building on the site would be refurbished to include business suites, meetings rooms and secretarial services.’
    • ‘They did everything from small remodel jobs to building small office complexes.’
    • ‘Although the father works as night watchman of an office building, he has no job security.’
    • ‘The concept is that the salespeople identify local doctor's offices and businesses that cater to similar clientele.’
    • ‘The oldest engineering company in Colchester is selling off half its office space but jobs won't be lost.’
    • ‘My father didn't make enough money at his office job so he had to take on a bunch of odd ones throughout the rest of the day.’
    place of business, place of work, workplace, workroom, studio
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    1. 1.1 The local centre of a large business:
      ‘a company which has four US and four European offices’
      • ‘It is also winning business from multinationals that often want small local offices but do not want to commit to long term leases.’
      • ‘He said the company had adopted a policy of employing locals to work in the branch offices to help boost local employment levels.’
      • ‘Anticipating a proliferation of internal processing people, he hired business managers for each of his four offices.’
      • ‘The insurance giant has said it may be expanding operations at its Witham offices bringing more jobs to the town.’
      • ‘It urged them to contact local offices for expert advice in dealing with the current problems.’
      • ‘We need to modernise the Post Office - to give it new business so local offices stay open.’
      • ‘Forms are available from health boards and citizen information centre offices nationwide.’
      • ‘Today both companies are concentrating on the local branch offices of large corporations as their hot sales prospects.’
      • ‘Bosses announced the company was consolidating three offices into a new building on the Turnpike Business Park.’
      • ‘Following five successful years in Redcliffe and Bristol, the telemarketing company is opening offices at Greenways Business Park.’
      • ‘We have 29 offices plus the telebetting centre.’
      • ‘I've been here ever since to oversee the operations with some of our folks out of our Washington office.’
      • ‘The Council now had new civic offices in Dungarvan and local offices in Tramore and Lismore as well as the regional roads design office in Tramore.’
      • ‘You can find out details of your local Citizens Advice Bureau by using the website's online directory or by looking up its local offices in your telephone directory.’
      • ‘This is me, on my way to their head office and the call centres so I can do away with the lot of them.’
      • ‘He tells her that he just started a new job with Outward Bound, which opened an office in this building.’
      • ‘Claimants will be forced to use call centres instead of local offices.’
      • ‘Xue's office, the biggest among the 22 local offices, has dealt with over 80,000 notarization cases this year.’
      • ‘GT Group is a local exchange carrier with offices throughout Canada.’
      • ‘Does the business have regional offices extending out from the headquarters that will require a wide area network to connect them?’
      branch, division, section, bureau, department
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    2. 1.2 A room, department, or building used to provide a particular service:
      ‘a ticket office’
      ‘a Post Office’
      • ‘In the Reading area six sub-post offices have been closed, with another one under threat.’
      • ‘Figures on how many had voted were not available as many Americans would have cast their ballot through their home-state election offices, said the consulate.’
      • ‘He said that existing community care offices in each county would remain and a lot of the services and the people delivering them would remain as they are.’
      • ‘Why not call your base family advocacy or family services offices.’
      • ‘The jobs are also passed on to local employment offices where they are either filled or advertised.’
      • ‘It has information on flights, ferries, local tourist offices and travelling in France.’
      • ‘Before Sept.11, consular offices or embassies could issue most visas after a routine check.’
      • ‘At the same time, government officials say the system is becoming easier to manage as schools and consular offices become familiar with the procedures.’
      • ‘Though under the command of the Ministry of Justice, notary public offices are social public agencies providing legal services.’
      • ‘They not only have the law to answer to, but the Hackney Carriage Licensing Authority and the taxi office from which they work.’
      • ‘In the year 2000 the Department of State considered some 10 million visa applications at some 200 consular offices.’
      • ‘The local tourist offices sell day tickets or contact the Glasgow Angling Centre.’
      • ‘Medical and counseling offices are filled with clergy who attempted self-care renewal by themselves.’
      • ‘Luthi has served in various positions in Swiss diplomatic and consular offices.’
      • ‘The dole office should provide a form that unemployed people could get stamped to say where they were looking for work.’
      • ‘Driving students wait for their tests to be conducted at the Licensing office in San Fernando yesterday.’
      • ‘Contact your local tourist office or Burns Society for events closer to home.’
      • ‘The decision to close seven sub-post offices in York sparked outrage when the plans were announced last year.’
      • ‘Free copies are available from the six parks, Hounslow Civic Centre, Tourist Information offices and local libraries.’
      • ‘Walk with friends or in a group or call your community service offices for an escort.’
    3. 1.3North American The consulting room of a professional person:
      ‘a patient walks in to a doctor's office’
      • ‘The wait in the doctor's office was ridiculously long.’
      • ‘It needs to be performed at the dental office under professional supervision.’
      • ‘She was slight and the seat felt like an oversized chair that you'd find in a psychiatrists office.’
      • ‘The hall was lined with doors, and he walked down to the end, where the professors' offices were.’
      • ‘So how many psychiatrist's offices did Franken burglarize last week?’
      • ‘The little hallway contains many doors, all leading into psychiatrist's offices.’
      • ‘For example, in the LEEP environment, students cannot meet for coffee after class or drop into their professors' offices unannounced.’
      • ‘Then both went into the deans office to discuss the conduct of her children.’
      • ‘In the psychiatrists office I sit by the wall and think about melting a lot.’
      • ‘Doctors' offices no longer held hard copy medical files, they were now held on computers.’
      • ‘The deans' offices at local schools can point you to nearby assistance.’
      • ‘We walked to the doctor's office in the next building and left the note on his desk.’
      • ‘We have visited professors' offices one by one, and announced the event in our classes.’
      • ‘They had pledged to show up at the prosecutor's office on Thursday.’
      • ‘We first met at his attorney's office in August.’
      • ‘Last week, five students occupied the principal's office for a week.’
      • ‘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’
    • ‘I say this with the authority of my office as president of Sinn Féin.’
    • ‘He has held many offices in professional organizations.’
    • ‘She now holds the office of High Sheriff of Lancashire.’
    • ‘She joined the civil service in Dublin in 1980 and was appointed to the office of Public works.’
    • ‘Four colonies had established churches but did not exclude clergy from political office.’
    • ‘Traditionally, when a man holds a religious office, or becomes a grandfather, he grows a beard.’
    • ‘The hierarchy of religious officialdom has its pinnacle in the Vatican and the office of Pope.’
    • ‘This bill includes a provision for establishing the office of Chief Coroner.’
    • ‘I never knew how much the office of "farm wife" entailed until our farm's wife disappeared into the wilds of Italy for two and a half weeks.’
    • ‘The only real help here is for bishops to grasp the true nature of their office and live it out.’
    • ‘State offices gave them the authority to compel peasants and artisans to surrender the resources of the province.’
    • ‘Before Japan, I would have tried to define the office of a professor in negative terms.’
    • ‘He was welcome in the office of the chairman and the studio of the artist and his opinion was valued in both situations.’
    • ‘How did contemporaries explain the decision to exclude clergy from political office?’
    • ‘But I have to say that the Office of the Commissioner for Children has not helped.’
    • ‘Essentially, the role of the Office of the President in Ireland is to be one of these checks along with the Judiciary.’
    • ‘It was transferred as a request out of my office as Acting Prime Minister.’
    • ‘For the first time in the history of Zambia's politics, we have seen more women appointed in top Government positions and executive offices in statutory bodies and parastatals.’
    • ‘The disappointment in the cases may be due to a misconception about the office and authority of the President.’
    • ‘Now partly that has to do with the changing nature of the office of the Attorney-General.’
    post, position, appointment, job, day job, occupation, role, place, situation, station, function, capacity
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    1. 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’
      • ‘The first Labour government took office in January amid high hopes from its supporters.’
      • ‘The thrust of the question was to see whether there had been any precedent before this Government took office.’
      • ‘Hope, when the left and social democrat parties were swept to office only a few short years ago, has turned to despair.’
      • ‘The governments that took office in post-war western Europe faced a series of challenges.’
      • ‘British prime ministers lose office either because they lose a general election or because their party removes them.’
      • ‘This wave of resistance swept social democratic parties back into office throughout Europe.’
      • ‘When this Government took office in 1999 we made a promise to run the economy in a responsible way.’
      • ‘He asked what was the total growth in Government revenue since the Labour Party came to office.’
      • ‘Has anyone else noticed that the Prime Minister has gained about 20 pounds since he took office?’
      • ‘We should not be passing laws that are simply aimed at trying to give the Labour Party another term in office.’
      • ‘Almost the first act of the Tory council that took office in May was to stop the rebuilding of Barnet football ground.’
      • ‘When the Conservative party returned to office in 1951 it accepted many of them.’
      • ‘After an interim administration, the new president took office this past October.’
      • ‘This was the first trip abroad of the new prime minister since he took office in the summer.’
      • ‘In that year, the Conservatives took office in Ontario under Premier Mike Harris.’
      • ‘Some of us have held office in the Labour Party or been Labour candidates.’
      • ‘The Democrat started his second term of office with the Republican Party having a majority in both houses.’
      • ‘Their strategy is to tough it out over the next couple of years and hope the Labour Party wins office at the next election.’
      • ‘In the British political system a prime minister holds office so long as he or she maintains the confidence of his or her own MPs and cabinet.’
      • ‘They did so as a shock election result in Spain removed from office the Tory Popular Party of Aznar.’
    2. 2.2 The quarters, staff, or collective authority of a particular government department or agency:
      ‘the Foreign Office’
      • ‘Last year saw the Office of the Community and Voluntary Sector established.’
      • ‘The matter was referred by the Office of Public Works to Waterways Ireland.’
      • ‘Colleagues in the Office for National Statistics struck on Tuesday.’
      • ‘The performance is promoted by the Arts Office of Laois County Council.’
      • ‘She is Crown Counsel with the Office of Prosecutions in Tasmania.’
      • ‘She is the Chair of the Review Board of the Office of Film and Literature Classification.’
      • ‘Anyone interested are asked to contact Laois County Council Sports Office in Portlaoise.’
      • ‘The departments of the Executive office are meant to provide the president with speedy and simple responses to questions asked to it.’
      • ‘The General Accounting Office will make the final determination in a few weeks.’
      • ‘Nóirín praised the Arts Office under the leadership of Muireann Ní Chonaill.’
      • ‘In February 1948 he was appointed to the Films Division of the Central Office of Information.’
      • ‘He is Institutional Affairs Attaché at the Quebec Government Office in London.’
      • ‘The Office of Small Business will be transferred to the new Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Resources.’
      • ‘At the start of the war in 1939, Eichmann worked in the Office for Jewish Emigration.’
      • ‘The data are collated by the Office for National Statistics.’
      • ‘The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights evolved from the Office for Free Elections.’
      • ‘This was reprinted with kind permission of the Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.’
      • ‘It is administered by the Office of Harmonization in the Internal Market, based in Spain.’
      • ‘The Laois Youth Theatre is an initiative of the Arts Office, Laois County Council.’
      • ‘The director of the Office of Film and Literature Classification is Des Clark.’
  • 3usually officesA service done for another or others:

    ‘rescued through the good offices of the Italian Ambassador, he was returned safely to England’
    • ‘These were supplied through the good offices of the chairman of Tidy Towns.’
    • ‘I discovered this dish through the good offices of The Butler's Pantry gourmet shop.’
    • ‘That information came through the good offices of the Department of Justice in Ottawa.’
    • ‘If the country ever knows peace again, it will find it through the good offices of its own citizens.’
    • ‘A Lotto grant of E200,000 has been obtained through the good offices of Dr. Tom Moffat.’
    • ‘This message was conveyed in public forums and diplomatically through the good offices of the Indian government.’
    • ‘These funds lie safely but dormant in a bank, access to which can only be secured through the good offices of the grieving widow.’
    • ‘Some facilities and necessary medical equipment had to be funded through the good offices of a charity.’
    • ‘Through the good offices of a sensible woman the lads are completely reformed.’
    • ‘I consider this service, provided by a small family firm, to have been outstanding and I trust that through the good offices of your paper I can make known my feelings to a wider public.’
    • ‘Born relates how cast down he was by what he felt was the ruin of his hopes, how he again fell foul of Klein, but managed through the good offices of Runge to convince Hilbert of the soundness of his ideas.’
    • ‘I met Newman in November 1993, partly through the good offices of the LBJ Library.’
    • ‘All Regatta proceeds, as in previous years, will be disbursed to the needy children, through the good offices of the Rotary Club of Jomtien Pattaya.’
    • ‘In 1834 he was appointed professor of drawing at King's College, London, through the good offices of Lady Palgrave, Dawson Turner's daughter.’
    • ‘The following recipe has been supplied courtesy of Arnott's Biscuits Limited through the good offices of Frank Townsend, Chief Chemist.’
    • ‘Yet we are ever-ready to listen to voices of reason, sanity and justice and we remain committed to an honourable solution with the government of India or through the good offices of the apex court.’
    • ‘Through the good offices of Willie Groarke, a new shrine to the Sacred Heart was blessed on Sunday at Cully.’
    • ‘A location was found through the good offices of the Rev Sidney Lawrence at College Hall on the campus of Leicester University.’
    • ‘Through the good offices of the Department of Scientific Investigations, he established contact with the Argentine air force and army.’
    • ‘Through the good offices of Chris Edwards at Glock, two Glock 17 pistols were provided.’
    assistance, help, aid, services, intervention, intercession, mediation, intermediation, agency, support, backing, patronage, aegis, auspices, advocacy
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    1. 3.1dated A duty attaching to one's position:
      ‘the offices of a nurse’
      chore, duty, job, task, obligation, assignment, service, responsibility, charge, commission
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  • 4Christian Church
    The series of services of prayers and psalms said (or chanted) daily by Catholic priests, members of religious orders, and other clergy.

    • ‘When polyphonic motets were intended to replace Gregorian chants in the Mass or Divine Office, they generally reproduce their texts exactly.’
    • ‘Though she loved the Divine Office and appreciated the Chant, she could not sing two notes in tune.’
    • ‘Latin hymns are sung at the Divine Office, and are assigned to different liturgical occasions, according to time of day, season of the year, or Holy Day.’
    • ‘The Divine Office has always been faithfully kept by lay people - not just clergy, monks and nuns-for centuries.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 4.1 A service conducted daily as part of the office:
      ‘the noon office’
      • ‘The seven daily offices punctuate a way of life regulated by prayer, while the passing of the seasons marks time.’
      • ‘A few days after reading this report I opened my Bible to read the lesson for the daily office.’
      • ‘Chapters 3 and 4 treat Evening Prayer as a counter to Morning Prayer and the minor offices as occasional rather than daily prayer.’
      • ‘His book is designed for up to four daily offices (morning, noon, evening and night).’
      • ‘The Prayer Book contained morning and evening offices, and forms for the administration of the sacraments as well as the psalter.’
  • 5usually usual officesBritish dated The parts of a house given over to household work or to storage.

    1. 5.1usually usual officeseuphemistic 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.