[de.part.ment] n [F departement, fr. OF, act of dividing, fr. departir] (1735) 1 a: a distinct sphere: province "that's not my ~" b: a category consisting esp. of a measurable activity or attribute "lacking in the trustworthiness ~ --Garrison Keillor"
2: a functional or territorial division: as a: a major administrative division of a government b: a major territorial administrative subdivision c: a division of a college or school giving instruction in a particular subject d: a major division of a business e: a section of a department store handling a particular kind of merchandise f: a territorial subdivision made for the administration and training of military units -- de.part.men.tal adj -- de.part.men.tal.ly adv