1837, "body of persons engaged in any service," from French personnel (originally military, a contrastive term to matériel), noun use of personnel (adj.) "personal," from Old French personel (see personal).
mid-13c., "a post in government or administration, an employment to which certain duties are attached, secular position of authority or responsibility," from Anglo-French and Old French ofice "place or function; divine service" (12c. in Old French) and directly from Latin officium "a service, kindness, favor; an obligatory service, official duty, function, business; ceremonial observance" (in Medieval Latin, "church service").
The Latin word was contracted from opificium, literally "work-doing," from ops (genitive opis) "power, might, abundance, means" (related to opus "work," from PIE root *op- "to work, produce in abundance") + combining form of facere "to make, to do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put").
Of ecclesiastical positions from late 14c. From c. 1300 as "official employment" in general, also "ecclesiastical service or mass; the prescribed order and form of church services." Meaning "building or room for conducting business" is from late 14c. Meaning "a government or civic department" is from mid-15c. From 1727 as "a privy."
Office hours "hours of work in an office" is attested from 1841. Office furniture, the type used or commonly found in offices, is by 1839. The political office-holder is by 1818. Office-party, one held for the members of a staff, is by 1950. Middle English had office of life "state of being alive" (late 14c.), translating Latin vite officio.
1650s, "public department in charge of letter-carrying," from post (n.3) + office. Meaning "building where postal business is carried on, office or place where letters are received for transmission," is from 1650s. In slang or euphemistic sense of "a sexual game" it refers to an actual parlor game first attested early 1850s in which pretend "letters" were paid for by kisses.
1786, "office in a theater in which tickets are sold," from box (n.1) + office (n.). Box is attested from late 14c. in the specialized sense of "money box," especially one in which money is kept for some particular purpose; this was extended to "funds, money" before c. 1400. Box office in the figurative sense of "financial element of a performance" is recorded by 1904.
"the totality of things used in the carrying out of any complex art or technique" (as distinguished from personnel), 1814, from French matériel "material," noun use of adj. matériel (see material (adj.)). A later borrowing of the same word that became material (n.). By 1819 in the specific sense of "articles, supplies, machinery, etc. used in the military."
1590s, "office of a president," also "superintendence, direction," from Medieval Latin praesidentia "office of a president" (mid-13c.), from Latin praesidentem (nominative praesidens) "president, governor" (see president). Earlier was presidentship (1520s), presidence (c. 1500). Meaning "a president's term in office" is from 1610s. In British India, a chief administrative division.