E.g. "I arrived after 5:00 P.M. and waited in his asdfasdf for a few minuntes before being called to his office"


This is an antechamber or anteroom:

a small outer room that leads to another room and that is often used as a waiting room


  • 1
    Good answer, but just want to point out that neither of these are used in colloquial speech. Antechamber has a slightly archaic feel.
    – W.E.
    Apr 2 '19 at 2:34
  • 2
    W.E. is quite right that people don't talk about antechambers or anterooms for this set up, even if the word technically applies. 'Outer office' would, I think, be the common term.
    – Spagirl
    Apr 2 '19 at 11:40
  • 1
    @Spagirl "Outer office" is good. It wasn't clear if the questioner wanted something colloquial or for use in more formal writing. (Do people even refer to "secretaries" any more - outside government organisations - that also sounds pretty archaic to me)
    – user323578
    Apr 2 '19 at 11:53
  • 1
    This is a good example of a SWR answer that might technically be correct in some sense but is never ever actually used. If the kingpin demands his henchmen tie up the secretary in his enemy's office's antechamber, the henchmen will not bat an eyelash. If one of the henchmen uses it, they'd be laughed out of the henchman's union.
    – Mitch
    Apr 2 '19 at 16:18

"and sat in the waiting room / area before being called"


How about vestibule?

a passage, hall, or antechamber between the outer door and the interior parts of a house or building. [Source: www.dictionary.com]

  • 1
    Not quite the same as the outer office where the great person's PA sits though, a vestibule is more of a circulation space similar in function to a corridor. A reception desk with a receptionist might be located in the vestibule of a building but the boss's secretary or PA would be in an outer office elsewhere in the building.
    – BoldBen
    Apr 2 '19 at 8:12
  • Yes, you are quite right. I think it would require a two-word definition such as outer office to come anywhere close to fitting the description.
    – Fruitjam
    Apr 2 '19 at 13:24
  • The vestibule is the small area, right past the front door, possibly enclosed with another door to the main entrance hall. You may hang up your coat there or further inside. Possibly a doorman or security may be stationed in a very large vestibule, but it is not an office reception area.
    – Mitch
    Apr 2 '19 at 16:25

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