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[uh-pahrt-muh nt] /əˈpɑrt mənt/
a room or a group of related rooms, among similar sets in one building, designed for use as a dwelling.
a building containing or made up of such rooms.
any separated room or group of rooms in a house or other dwelling:
We heard cries from an apartment at the back of the house.
apartments, British. a set of rooms used as a dwelling by one person or one family.
Origin of apartment
1635-45; < French appartement < Italian appartamento, equivalent to apparta(re) to separate, divide (verbal derivative of a parte apart, to one side) + -mento -ment
Related forms
[uh-pahrt-men-tl] /ə pɑrtˈmɛn tl/ (Show IPA),
1. Apartment, compartment agree in denoting a space enclosed by partitions or walls. Apartment, however, emphasizes the idea of separateness or privacy: one's own apartment. Compartment suggests a section of a larger space: compartments in a ship's hold, in an orange crate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for apartment
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They were shown at once into the apartment in which Henry Dunbar sat waiting for them.

    Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon
  • What is the use of a beautiful face, if one must be shut up in her own apartment for ever?

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • The lady-helps have their own apartment; but I decline to justify myself.

  • Philothea has glided from the apartment, as if afraid to remain in my presence.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • Julia averted her eyes, and blushed scarlet, but placed her hand in that of the count just as her mother entered the apartment.

British Dictionary definitions for apartment


(often pl) any room in a building, usually one of several forming a suite, esp one that is spacious and well furnished and used as living accommodation, offices, etc
  1. another name (esp US and Canadian) for flat2 (sense 1)
  2. (as modifier): apartment building, apartment house
Word Origin
C17: from French appartement, from Italian appartamento, from appartare to set on one side, separate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for apartment

1640s, "private rooms for the use of one person within a house," from French appartement (16c.), from Italian appartimento, literally "a separated place," from appartere "to separate," from a "to" (see ad-) + parte "side, place," from Latin partem (see part (n.)). Sense of "set of private rooms in a building entirely of these" (the U.S. equivalent of British flat) is first attested 1874.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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