Meaning of DEPARTMENT in English

I. də̇ˈpärtmənt, dēˈ-, -pȧt- noun

( -s )

Etymology: French département, from Middle French departement, from departir to divide + -ment — more at depart

1. : appointed sphere or province (as of activity or thought)

Pope's own peculiar department of literature — T.B.Macaulay


a. : a discrete territorial or functional division or section of a larger organized or systematized whole

good taste … goes into every department of life — Elspeth Betjeman


(1) : the largest administrative subdivision in France and some of the French colonies presided over by a prefect


[American Spanish departamento, from French département ]

: a similar territorial division in some Central and So. American countries

b. : an administrative division or branch of a national or municipal government

the welfare department

c. : a discrete branch of instruction or study in a school or college

the English department

the department of modern languages


(1) : a division of a business concern handling a major function

the accounting department

(2) : a division of a store handling a distinct class of merchandise

the furniture department

dry goods department


(1) : a territorial subdivision for the administration, training, and tactical control of military units stationed within its limits

(2) usually capitalized : such a former subdivision of the possessions of the United States outside the continental limits

3. : a regular column or feature devoted to a particular subject in a publication or radio program

II. noun

: a category consisting especially of a measurable activity or attribute

lacking in the trustworthiness department — Garrison Keillor

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.