fac·​ul·​ty | \ ˈfa-kəl-tē How to pronounce faculty (audio) \
plural faculties

Definition of faculty

1 : ability, power: such as
a : innate or acquired ability to act or do man … how infinite in faculty— William Shakespeare
b : an inherent capability, power, or function the faculty of hearing
c : any of the powers of the mind (such as will, reason, or instinct) formerly held by psychologists to form a basis for the explanation of all mental phenomena
d : natural aptitude has a faculty for saying the right things
2a : a branch of teaching or learning (such as law, medicine, or liberal arts) in an educational institution
b archaic : something in which one is trained or qualified
3a : the members of a profession
b : the teaching and administrative staff and those members of the administration having academic rank in an educational institution an excellent mathematics faculty
c faculty plural : faculty members many faculty were present
4 : power, authority, or prerogative given or conferred The state has the faculty to define treason.

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Synonyms for faculty



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Choose the Right Synonym for faculty

gift, faculty, aptitude, bent, talent, genius, knack mean a special ability for doing something. gift often implies special favor by God or nature. the gift of singing beautifully faculty applies to an innate or less often acquired ability for a particular accomplishment or function. a faculty for remembering names aptitude implies a natural liking for some activity and the likelihood of success in it. a mechanical aptitude bent is nearly equal to aptitude but it stresses inclination perhaps more than specific ability. a family with an artistic bent talent suggests a marked natural ability that needs to be developed. has enough talent to succeed genius suggests impressive inborn creative ability. has no great genius for poetry knack implies a comparatively minor but special ability making for ease and dexterity in performance. the knack of getting along

Examples of faculty in a Sentence

She's a member of the Harvard faculty. The school hired more faculty. a meeting with students and faculty She has a faculty for making friends. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
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Recent Examples on the Web

School officials also wanted to ensure all students and faculty were present on campus for the announcement. Alejandro Serrano, SFChronicle.com, "Racist, anti-immigrant content posted across San Jose State campus," 21 Aug. 2019 It wasn’t designed to get students and faculty to mingle. San Diego Union-Tribune, "With unexpected speed, UC San Diego raises $2 billion in donations to transform campus," 18 Aug. 2019 Students and faculty provide homework help and dinner to students and parents at the OCPS Academic Center for Excellence, which is just across Parramore Avenue from the new campus. Annie Martin, orlandosentinel.com, "Where do students of new UCF/Valencia campus live? Mostly not downtown.," 2 Aug. 2019 Welch and colleagues had circulated a petition among UC faculty members in the spring, threatening to withdraw from editorial boards if a deal was not reached. Jeffrey Brainard, Science | AAAS, "UC faculty members quit Cell Press editorial boards over impasse with publisher," 9 Aug. 2019 The chairman of the C4BES board, Matt Rahn, a faculty member at Cal State San Marcos and a member of the Temecula City Council, told me that the organization was his idea and an outgrowth of his work teaching environmental policy. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: SoCal Gas accused of setting up an ‘astro-turf’ group to plead its case to regulators," 8 Aug. 2019 The campus is scheduled to open Aug. 26, bringing 7,600 students — about the size of Stetson University and Rollins College combined — plus hundreds more staffers and faculty members to the area. Ryan Gillespie, orlandosentinel.com, "Creative Village: UCF-Valencia campus expected to be hottest area for downtown Orlando growth," 7 Aug. 2019 Ultimately, operating a nursing program requires heavy investment in equipment and training for staff and faculty, said Mulready-Shick, the president of the regional nursing league. Deirdre Fernandes, BostonGlobe.com, "Roxbury nursing program plagued by high turnover, lack of qualified personnel," 22 July 2019 That’s the question at the center of a debate between Evanston and Northwestern officials over future rules for a beach that for decades was the exclusive domain of Northwestern students, staff and faculty. Genevieve Bookwalter, chicagotribune.com, "Northwestern, Evanston officials differ on rules for campus beach," 16 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'faculty.' 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 faculty

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for faculty

Middle English faculte "power, ability, field of knowledge, branch of learning at a university," borrowed from Anglo-French faculté, borrowed from Medieval Latin facultāt-, facultās (Latin, "power, ability, opportunity, quantity available"), from Latin *faklis, earlier form of facilis "easy, accommodating" + -tāt-, -tās -ty — more at facile

Note: Latin facultās presumably developed from an original *faklitāts (via *fakl̥tāts > *fakiltāts > facultās), and hence is a doublet of facilitās "quality of being easily performed" (see facility), a derivative formed after facilis had assumed its attested form (with *-klis > -cilis). The difference in meaning between the two derivatives suggests the original adjective *faklis may have meant something like "possessing the power, able" (whence "easily done," conforming to other adjectives in -ilis).

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Last Updated

27 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for faculty

The first known use of faculty was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for faculty



English Language Learners Definition of faculty

: the group of teachers in a school or college
US : faculty members or teachers
: one of the powers of your mind or body


fac·​ul·​ty | \ ˈfak-əl-tē How to pronounce faculty (audio) \
plural faculties

Kids Definition of faculty

1 : ability to do something : talent He has a faculty for making friends.
2 : one of the powers of the mind or body the faculty of hearing
3 : the teachers in a school or college


fac·​ul·​ty | \ ˈfak-əl-tē How to pronounce faculty (audio) \
plural faculties

Medical Definition of faculty

1a : an inherent capability, power, or function the faculty of hearing digestive faculty
b : one of the powers of the mind formerly held by psychologists to form a basis for the explanation of all mental phenomena
2a : the members of a profession
b : the teaching and administrative staff and those members of the administration having academic rank in an educational institution

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Comments on faculty

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to make a temporary encampment

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