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 \ -​tə-​lē How to pronounce departmentally (audio) \ 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

Bell had no intention of abolishing the department. Chuck Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "The State of American Trade Schools," 13 Mar. 2019 Anna Boden directed and wrote Captain Marvel—along with her partner, director and writer Ryan Fleck—and the film boasts several female producers, writers, department heads, and crew members. Kendra James, Glamour, "Meet the Incredible Women Behind Captain Marvel," 8 Mar. 2019 In 2016, Title X funding went to 91 family planning service grantees, which included 48 state or local health departments and 43 nonprofit organizations (such as Planned Parenthood clinics). Korin Miller, SELF, "Here's What a 'Domestic Gag Rule' on Abortion Would Actually Mean for All of Us," 22 Feb. 2019 This boho-chic retailer is Anthropologie's bridal sister brand, serving up Anthro-levels of chicness, but in the formal dress department. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "All the Best Places to Shop for Prom Dresses in New York City," 29 Jan. 2019 Sorry Frank Reagan and Agent Gibbs—Jennifer Esposito is moving on to America’s next favorite crime department. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Former 'Blue Bloods' and 'NCIS' Star Jennifer Esposito Is Joining 'Law & Order: SVU'," 24 Jan. 2019 The Trump administration sent a large delegation of senior officials from the State, Defense and Commerce departments, as well as the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, to make its case against Huawei directly to more than... Dan Strumpf, WSJ, "U.S. Takes Huawei Fight Directly to Telecom Industry," 26 Feb. 2019 Assisting them are the Department of Justice, with its own worldwide system of secret agents, and the post office department, whose inspectors exercise constant vigilance to keep the mails closed to the smuggler. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Rewind: What Guarding Uncle Sam's Borders Was Like in 1925," 11 Feb. 2019 The Midlothian Police Department announced last week that Ian Covey, a four-year veteran of the department, shot Roberson. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "A black security guard caught a shooting suspect — only to be shot by police minutes later," 23 Jan. 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

19 Mar 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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