department

noun

de·​part·​ment di-ˈpärt-mənt How to pronounce department (audio)
1
a
: a distinct sphere : province
that's not my department
b
: a category consisting especially of a measurable activity or attribute
lacking in the trustworthiness departmentGarrison 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
departmental adjective
departmentally 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.
Recent Examples on the Web To be fair, the authors and publishers who spoke to the Sentinel said that Gov. Ron DeSantis’ education department didn’t order them to cut all climate-change references from their science textbooks. Scott Maxwell, Orlando Sentinel, 9 July 2024 Our police department has created a team called the Neighborhood Enforcement Team. Kerria Weaver, The Arizona Republic, 9 July 2024 The department said the person was hospitalized for bubonic plague but their condition improved. Eduardo Cuevas, USA TODAY, 9 July 2024 Officers found them in the residence in the 1400 block of Northwest Third Court shortly before 11 a.m., police department spokesperson Casey Liening said in an email. Angie Dimichele, Sun Sentinel, 9 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for department 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'department.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

1735, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of department was in 1735

Dictionary Entries Near department

Cite this Entry

“Department.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/department. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

department

noun
de·​part·​ment di-ˈpärt-mənt How to pronounce department (audio)
1
: a distinct area of interest or activity
taking care of the cat is not my department
2
a
: a major administrative division of a government or business
b
: a major territorial administrative division
c
: a division of a college or school giving instruction in a particular subject
d
: a section of a department store
departmental adjective
departmentally adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on department

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!