department

[dih-pahrt-muhnt]
noun
1.
a distinct part of anything arranged in divisions; a division of a complex whole or organized system.
2.
one of the principal branches of a governmental organization: the sanitation department.
3.
(initial capital letter) one of the principal divisions of the U.S. federal government, headed by a secretary who is a member of the president's cabinet.
4.
a division of a business enterprise dealing with a particular area of activity: the personnel department.
5.
a section of a retail store selling a particular class or kind of goods: the sportswear department.
6.
one of the sections of a school or college dealing with a particular field of knowledge: the English department.
7.
one of the large districts into which certain countries, as France, are divided for administrative purposes.
8.
a division of official business, duties, or functions: judicial departments.
9.
a sphere or province of activity, knowledge, or responsibility: Paying the bills is not my department.
10.
(usually initial capital letter) U.S. Army. (formerly) a large geographical division of the U.S. or its possessions as divided for military and defense purposes: the Hawaiian Department.

Origin:
1730–35; < French département, equivalent to départ(ir) (see depart) + -ment -ment

departmental [dih-pahrt-men-tl, dee-pahrt-] , adjective
departmentally, adverb
nondepartmental, adjective
nondepartmentally, adverb
predepartmental, adjective
subdepartment, noun
subdepartmental, adjective


1. branch, bureau, section, unit, segment.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
department (dɪˈpɑːtmənt)
 
n
1.  a specialized division of a large concern, such as a business, store, or university: the geography department
2.  a major subdivision or branch of the administration of a government
3.  a branch or subdivision of learning: physics is a department of science
4.  a territorial and administrative division in several countries, such as France
5.  informal a specialized sphere of knowledge, skill, or activity: wine-making is my wife's department
 
[C18: from French département, from départir to divide; see depart]
 
departmental
 
adj
 
depart'mentally
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

department
mid-15c., "a going away, act of leaving," from O.Fr. département (12c.), from L.L. departire (see depart). French department meant "group of people" (as well as "departure"), from which English borrowed the sense of "separate division, separate business assigned to
someone in a larger organization" (c.1735). Meaning "separate division of a government" is from 1769. As an administrative district in France, from 1792.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Often you hear central administrators note that the hardest job in the
  university is that of department head.
The department cannot even hold on to the recruits it does manage to find.
Place the fire department at the far outskirts of town.
The garden department told me there was some basil in the test garden that had
  flowered and need to be snipped.
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