Definition of department
1a : a distinct sphere : province that's not my departmentb : a category consisting especially of a measurable activity or attribute lacking in the trustworthiness department — Garrison Keillor
2 : a functional or territorial division: such asa : a major administrative division of a governmentb : a major territorial administrative subdivisionc : a division of a college or school giving instruction in a particular subjectd : a major division of a businesse : a section of a department store handling a particular kind of merchandisef : a territorial subdivision made for the administration and training of military units
departmentalplay \di-ˌpärt-ˈmen-təl, ˌdē-\ adjective
departmentallyplay \-tə-lē\ 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 of department from the Web
Of last year’s profit, $225 million was returned to the defense department to help pay for quality-of-life programs on bases like child development and fitness centers.
About 150-200 people came out Sunday morning to honor former Pleasantview Fire firefighter Ed Switalski, who was killed in June while responding to a call as chief of a southwest Michigan department.
Grawitch said his department published an article in 2015 that identified causes of workplace stress.
Chadra Gray, 37, is charged with one count of residential arson for a fire Friday in the 14600 block of South Halsted, Harvey fire department spokesperson Sean Howard said.
Wyoming Police Chief Rusty Herzog said his department has turned the accident investigation over to the sheriff's office.
During the one-year ban, council members directed the Parks and Recreation and Public Works departments to try alternative and safer products to remove weeds and to come back with a report about whether a replacement to Roundup was found.
Vickery surrendered himself to Buncich around 10 a.m. in the parking lot outside the sheriff's department, Back said.
McClatchy reported on Wednesday that congressional and justice department investigators are looking into whether the Trump campaign helped direct Russia’s fake news attacks against Hillary Clinton.
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.
Origin and Etymology of department
French département, from Old French, act of dividing, from departir
First Known Use: 1735See Words from the same year
DEPARTMENT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of department for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of department for Students
: a special part or division of an organization (as a government or college)
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up department? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).