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box office

the office of a theater, stadium, or the like, at which tickets are sold.
  1. receipts from a play or other entertainment.
  2. entertainment popular enough to attract paying audiences and make a profit:
    This show will be good box office.
Origin of box office


[boks-aw-fis, -of-is] /ˈbɒksˌɔ fɪs, -ˌɒf ɪs/
of or relating to the box office or to the business and commercial aspects of the theater:
a box-office window; box-office receipts; a box-office attraction.
1805-15; adj. use of box office Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for box-office
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If he's the wily bird I imagine him to be, he'll have a fellow in his box-office listening to what's going on.

    Pincher Martin, O.D. H. Taprell Dorling
  • No, every place was taken when my servant went to the box-office.

  • Would you mind coming to the box-office a few moments before you dress?

    Sister Carrie Theodore Dreiser
  • Then skirting a big beadle in blue, policemen, and loungers, I reached the box-office.

    Old Fogy James Huneker
  • She interrupted his protest: Ive promised on my word of honor, and the box-office has sold the seats with that understanding.

    The Girl From His Town Marie Van Vorst
British Dictionary definitions for box-office

box office

an office at a theatre, cinema, etc, where tickets are sold
the receipts from a play, film, etc
  1. the public appeal of an actor or production: the musical was bad box office
  2. (as modifier): a box-office success
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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Idioms and Phrases with box-office

box office

The office where seats for a play, concert, or other form of entertainment may be purchased, as in Tickets are available at the box office. It is so called because originally (17th century) it was the place for hiring a box, a special compartment of theater seats set aside for ladies. [ Second half of 1700s ]
The financial receipts from a performance; also, a show's relative success in attracting a paying audience. For example, You may not consider it great art, but this play is good box office. [ c. 1900 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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