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See also: Department


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Borrowed from French département.



department (plural departments)

  1. A part, portion, or subdivision.
  2. A distinct course of life, action, study, or the like.
    Technical things are not his department; he's a people person.
    • 2014 November 14, Stephen Halliday, “Scotland 1-0 Republic of Ireland: Maloney the hero”, in The Scotsman[1]:
      Flair and invention were very much at a premium, suffocated by the relentless pace and often fractious nature of proceedings. The absence of James Morrison from the centre of Scotland’s midfield, the West Brom man ruled out on the morning of the game by illness, had already diminished the creative capacity of the home side in that department.
    • 1881, Thomas Babington Macaulay, “Samuel Johnson”, in Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition:
      superior to Pope in Pope's own peculiar department of literature
  3. A subdivision of an organization.
    1. (often in proper names) One of the principal divisions of executive government
      the Treasury Department; the Department of Agriculture; police department
    2. (in a university) One of the divisions of instructions
      the physics department; the gender studies department
  4. A territorial division; a district; especially, in France, one of the districts into which the country is divided for governmental purposes, similar to a county in the UK and in the USA. France is composed of 101 départements organized in 18 régions, each department is divided into arrondissements, in turn divided into cantons.
    • 2002, Colin Jones, The Great Nation: France from Louis XV to the 1715-99, Penguin 2003, p. 427:
      The departments were the bricks from which the edifice of the nation was to be constructed.
  5. (historical) A military subdivision of a country
    the Department of the Potomac
  6. (obsolete) Act of departing; departure.
    • (Can we date this quote by Wotton and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      sudden 'departments from one extreme to another


Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

See also[edit]