faculty

noun fac·ul·ty \ ˈfa-kəl-tē \
Updated on: 7 Nov 2017

Definition of faculty

plural faculties
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
2 a :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
3 a :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.

Examples of faculty in a Sentence

  1. She's a member of the Harvard faculty.

  2. The school hired more faculty.

  3. a meeting with students and faculty

  4. She has a faculty for making friends.

  5. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

Recent Examples of faculty from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of faculty

Middle English faculte, from Anglo-French faculté, from Medieval Latin & Latin; Medieval Latin facultat-, facultas branch of learning or teaching, from Latin, ability, abundance, from facilis facile

Synonym Discussion of 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


FACULTY Defined for English Language Learners

faculty

noun

Definition of faculty for English Language Learners

  • : the group of teachers in a school or college

  • faculty : faculty members or teachers

  • : one of the powers of your mind or body


FACULTY Defined for Kids

faculty

noun fac·ul·ty \ ˈfak-əl-tē \

Definition of faculty for Students

plural faculties
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

Medical Dictionary

faculty

noun fac·ul·ty \ ˈfak-əl-tē \

medical Definition of faculty

plural faculties
1 a :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
2 a :the members of a profession
b :the teaching and administrative staff and those members of the administration having academic rank in an educational institution


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by intense feeling

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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