department

noun
de·​part·​ment | \ di-ˈpärt-mənt \

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 , ˌdē-​ \ adjective
departmentally \ -​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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Under the partial shutdown, funding has lapsed for nine of the 15 federal departments and several agencies. Andrew Duehren, WSJ, "‘Washington Is Pretty Broken’: Shutdown Fight Rattles Freshman Lawmakers," 18 Jan. 2019 That might have been true, like, a decade ago, but today there are plenty of brands creating buildable, high-impact products that over-deliver in the shade department. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "7 All-Natural Makeup Brands With Products That Are Actually Amazing," 14 Jan. 2019 The police department paired her with trooper Daniel O'Neil, and by 2017, Ruby had helped with more than 15 missing-person cases. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "This Abandoned Shelter Dog Rescued the Missing Son of Her Former Trainer," 20 Nov. 2018 Wednesday brings the first full business day after several government departments and agencies closed up over the weekend due to a budgetary stalemate between President Donald Trump and Congress. Darlene Superville, The Seattle Times, "Post-holiday, partial government shutdown to gain impact," 25 Dec. 2018 In Rhode Island, businesses, police departments and residents flash their lights at Hasbro Children’s Hospital at night. Jennifer Levitz, WSJ, "Flash Mob With Flashlights Shines Holiday Cheer to Sick Children," 24 Dec. 2018 Cosmetic brands historically have been controlled by a few large corporations like Estée Lauder, L’Oréal, Coty, and Procter & Gamble, which — with busy PR departments and big budgets — are very good at controlling their messaging. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "The biggest beauty trend in 2018? Makeup brands behaving badly," 18 Dec. 2018 Niko is a detective in the Hilltowne police department and Mel's girlfriend. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Meet the Cast of "Charmed" and Their Characters," 13 Nov. 2018 While the Surface Laptop 2 is a bit light in the I/O department (just one USB 3.0 port, and no USB-C) both configurations still represent an excellent deal—remember, the minimum price Microsoft set at launch was $999! Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's '12 Days of Faves' deals knock the Surface Laptop 2 price down to a fantastic $799," 13 Dec. 2018

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

22 Jan 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 \

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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to settle judicially or to act as judge

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