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
For information, contact your police or sheriff’s department.
In academic departments across the nation, the message is clear.
Actress Alicia Vikander, meanwhile, attended the annual party of jewelry house Bulgari — admiring the panoramic view on top of Galeries Lafayette department store in central Paris.
Tributes in memory of two slain deputies are stacked on a Harford County Sheriff's Office Department vehicle outside the department's southern precinct the morning of Feb. 11, 2016, in Edgewood.
East Coast superfans praise Wegmans, which was founded in 1916, for its amazing variety (the store stocks over 70,000 products), fresh produce, reasonable prices, item availability, and specialty departments.
Annual increases in the contract with the sheriff’s department will continue through 2021-22, reaching $17.2 million.
In May of 2015, the department granted the approval to erect statues of Stanton and Anthony at the West 77th Street entrance.
The department designated McCambridge Park Recreation Center as the meeting site for evacuees.
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).