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.

1635–45; < French appartement < Italian appartamento, equivalent to apparta(re) to separate, divide (verbal derivative of a parte apart, to one side) + -mento -ment

apartmental [uh-pahrt-men-tl] , adjective

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.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
apartment (əˈpɑːtmənt)
1.  (often plural) 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
2.  a.  another name (esp US and Canadian) for flat
 b.  (as modifier): apartment building; apartment house
[C17: from French appartement, from Italian appartamento, from appartare to set on one side, separate]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1640s, "private rooms for the use of one person within a house," from Fr. appartement (16c.), from It. appartimento, lit. "a separated place," from appartere "to separate," from a "to" + parte "side, place," from L. partem (see part). 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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Example sentences for apartments
Women were forbidden to appear on the balconies of their apartments or houses.
People are frozen in different apartments, on the stairs, and in the cellars.
It contained a chapel, gallery, royal apartments, and a great hall.
He insisted on separate apartments and ignored her in public.
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