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[kuh m-pahrt-men-tl-ahyz, kom-pahrt-] /kəm pɑrtˈmɛn tlˌaɪz, ˌkɒm pɑrt-/
verb (used with object), compartmentalized, compartmentalizing.
to divide into categories or compartments.
Also, especially British, compartmentalise.
1920-25; compartmental + -ize
Related forms
compartmentalization, noun
decompartmentalization, noun
decompartmentalize, verb (used with object), decompartmentalized, decompartmentalizing. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for compartmentalized
  • Yes, but there are problems with looking at this way- the speech had several compartmentalized sections.
  • The position continues to be minimized and compartmentalized.
  • Modular luggage is compartmentalized so each section will hold a particular item.
  • Official sources cast doubt on the claim, although there's a chance that news of his capture would be highly compartmentalized.
  • They feel good because the job is compartmentalized.
  • They have successfully compartmentalized their beliefs.
  • Around a table are five characters, each compartmentalized by his individual kvetch.
  • He balanced these two interests uneasily and similarly compartmentalized his life and relationships.
  • Home improvement used to be a compartmentalized industry, dominated by professional builders.
  • She has sanitized, deodorized and compartmentalized herself into an ordered, empty existence.
British Dictionary definitions for compartmentalized


(usually transitive) to put or divide into (compartments, categories, etc), esp to an excessive degree
Derived Forms
compartmentalization, compartmentalisation, noun
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 compartmentalized



1918, from compartmental + -ize. Related: Compartmentalized; compartmentalizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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