de·​par·​ture | \ di-ˈpär-chər How to pronounce departure (audio) \

Definition of departure

1a(1) : the act or an instance of departing
(2) archaic : death
b : a setting out (as on a new course)
2 : divergence sense 2 a departure from tradition

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of departure in a Sentence

What is your time of departure? You should plan to arrive at the airport an hour before departure. a schedule of arrivals and departures The departures of several key employees have caused problems for the company. her sudden departure from the company The team has struggled since the departure of its head coach. His previous movies have all been comedies, so this dramatic role is a real departure for him.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Those who choose to travel are strongly encouraged to check local government restrictions, rules, and safety measures related to COVID-19 and take personal comfort levels and health conditions into consideration before departure. Meena Thiruvengadam, Travel + Leisure, "This Hudson Valley Hotel Offers Outdoor Movie Nights, Mountaintop Yoga, and Painting Classes," 18 Oct. 2020 Travelers will make their booking decisions at the last minute, days, or even hours before their departure. Christopher Elliott, USA TODAY, "The COVID-19 guide to holiday travel – and the case for why you shouldn't go this year," 16 Oct. 2020 Those wanting to fly for work from Japan to Singapore must be sponsored by a company in the city-state, get tested before departure and after arrival and declare an itinerary beforehand—and stick to it. Niharika Mandhana, WSJ, "Covid-19 Travel Bubbles Were Set to Restore Flying but Haven’t Taken Off," 14 Oct. 2020 Before Williams’ departure, Tucker said his team could still play in tournaments, but as an AAU team. John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Prep basketball tournaments come to grips with pandemic," 13 Oct. 2020 For travelers who fail to reach out to insurance providers or the airlines before departure to confirm what can be refunded or credited in the case of a COVID-19 related cancellation or border closure, Prout recommends the following three steps. Rachel King, Fortune, "When is the best time to book holiday travel this year—if at all?," 5 Oct. 2020 Before his departure, crew members could easily move around the workshop where the cigarettes were hidden. Patrick Kingsley, New York Times, "The Ship That Stopped 7,000 Migrants, and Smuggled 700,000 Cigarettes," 28 Sep. 2020 Foreigners who wish to visit the country will need to seek a special visa, get tested for Covid-19 before departure, and agree to more tests and a quarantine upon arrival. Randy Thanthong-knight,, "Thailand Extends Emergency Ahead of Easing Ban on Tourists," 28 Sep. 2020 Travelers will collect their own sample 72 hours before their departure and return the test via overnight mail or to a drop box at the airport. Washington Post, "United to be first U.S. airline to offer covid-19 tests for passengers," 24 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'departure.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of departure

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about departure

Time Traveler for departure

Time Traveler

The first known use of departure was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for departure

Last Updated

21 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Departure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for departure


How to pronounce departure (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of departure

: the act of leaving a place especially to start a journey
: the act of leaving a job, an organization, etc.
: a new or different way of doing something


de·​par·​ture | \ di-ˈpär-chər How to pronounce departure (audio) \

Kids Definition of departure

1 : an act of leaving or setting out We waved upon the ship's departure.
2 : an act of turning away or aside (as from a way of doing things) a departure from tradition



Legal Definition of departure

: a failure to follow : a deviation from a course or standard an upward departure from the sentencing guidelines

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on departure

What made you want to look up departure? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Here Be Dragons: A Creature Identification Quiz

  • monster werewolf photo
  • Which is a synonym of werewolf?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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