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From Middle English faculte (power, property), from Old French faculte, from Latin facultas (capability, ability, skill, abundance, plenty, stock, goods, property, Medieval Latin also a body of teachers), another form of facilitas (easiness, facility, etc.), from facul, another form of facilis (easy, facile); see facile.


  • IPA(key): /ˈfæ.kəl.ti/
  • (file)


faculty (plural faculties)

  1. (chiefly US) The academic staff at schools, colleges or universities, as opposed to the students or support staff.
  2. A division of a university.
    She transferred from the Faculty of Science to the Faculty of Medicine.
  3. An ability, skill, or power, often plural.
    • 1974, Thomas S. Szasz, M.D., chapter 12, in The Myth of Mental Illness[1], →ISBN, page 201:
      I have used the notion of games so far as if it were familiar to most people. I think this is justified as everyone knows how to play some games. Accordingly, games serve admirably as models for the clarification of other, less well-understood, social-psychological phenomena. Yet the ability to follow rules, play games, and construct new games is a faculty not equally shared by all persons. []
    He lived until he reached the age of 90 with most of his faculties intact.
  4. A power, authority or privilege conferred by a higher authority.
  5. (Church of England) A licence to make alterations to a church.
  6. The members of a profession.


Related terms[edit]

Usage notes[edit]

In the sense of academic staff at a university, academic staff, teaching staff or simply staff are preferred in British English.


Further reading[edit]