department

noun
de·​part·​ment | \ di-ˈpärt-mənt How to pronounce department (audio) \

Definition of department

1a : a distinct sphere : province that's not my department
b : a category consisting especially of a measurable activity or attribute lacking in the trustworthiness department— Garrison Keillor
2 : a functional or territorial division: such 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

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Other Words from department

departmental \ di-​ˌpärt-​ˈmen-​tᵊl How to pronounce departmental (audio) , ˌdē-​ \ adjective
departmentally \ di-​ˌpärt-​ˈmen-​tə-​lē How to pronounce departmentally (audio) , ˌdē-​ \ adverb

Examples of department in a Sentence

Your letter has been forwarded to our sales department. When you get to the hospital, go directly to the X-ray department. the university's math and science departments the department of modern languages She joined the town's police department.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Of the country’s 32 departments – areas like states or provinces – as of October 2018, 28 were contaminated by mines, 31 before demining in the country began. Megan Janetsky, Teen Vogue, "Meet the Women Who Detonate Land Mines in Colombia’s Former War Zones," 24 Apr. 2019 In the series, Detective Patch works as Diego's link to the police department and love interest. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "13 Differences Between "The Umbrella Academy" Comics and TV Show," 8 Mar. 2019 Fire Chief Rodney VanDeCasteele of Grand Ledge, Michigan, explained what his firefighters have learned as the pilot department for the new hose. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "The Lifeline Firehose Could Revolutionize Firefighting," 18 Apr. 2019 The Port Authority of New York/New Jersey on Monday named Sam Ruda, who has served as interim director of the Port Department for the past five months, as the department’s new director. Stephen Nakrosis, WSJ, "Port Authority of NY/NJ Names Interim Director as New Chief of Port Department," 15 Apr. 2019 Sweetin plays Lucy, a fifth-grade teacher who is surrounded by love — her parents are celebrating their 40th anniversary and her sister is expecting her first child — but feels anything but lucky in that department. Lindsey O'connell, Woman's Day, "Exclusive! Watch a Sneak Peek of Hallmark Channel’s New Movie with Jodie Sweetin from 'Fuller House'," 5 Mar. 2019 First, Duchess Kate visited the costume department of the Royal Opera House, and now, Duchess Meghan is attending her first public event at Mayhew, a grass-roots animal charity, and one of her new patronages. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Just Arrived at Mayhew Wearing an Affordable H&M Maternity Dress," 16 Jan. 2019 Meanwhile the halls at the Capitol are nearly dead silent, with congressional leaders barely pretending to try to reopen the departments of Justice, Interior and Homeland Security and other agencies that remain unfunded. Amanda Sakuma, Vox, "Trump threatens to shut down the border for the third time in three months," 29 Dec. 2018 And for Celia Rowlson-Hall and Emma Portner—who both happen to have size 7.5 feet—the shoe department of Saks Fifth Avenue was the perfect setting for a playful dance battle that pivots to a duet. Vogue, "Shoe Time!—Spring’s Best Footwear Trends Inspire a Joyful Dance-Off Inside Saks Fifth Avenue," 28 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'department.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of department

1735, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for department

French département, from Old French, act of dividing, from departir

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Statistics for department

Last Updated

14 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for department

The first known use of department was in 1735

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More Definitions for department

department

noun

English Language Learners Definition of department

: one of the major parts of a company, organization, government, or school
: an area in a store where a particular kind of product is sold
: a subject or activity that a person is interested in or responsible for

department

noun
de·​part·​ment | \ di-ˈpärt-mənt How to pronounce department (audio) \

Kids Definition of department

: a special part or division of an organization (as a government or college)

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Comments on department

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