a distinct part of anything arranged in divisions; a division of a complex whole or organized system.
one of the principal branches of a governmental organization: the sanitation department.
(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.
a division of a business enterprise dealing with a particular area of activity: the personnel department.
a section of a retail store selling a particular class or kind of goods: the sportswear department.
one of the sections of a school or college dealing with a particular field of knowledge: the English department.
one of the large districts into which certain countries, as France, are divided for administrative purposes.
a division of official business, duties, or functions: judicial departments.
a sphere or province of activity, knowledge, or responsibility: Paying the bills is not my department.
(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.

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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
department (dɪˈpɑːtmənt)
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]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

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.

1791, "pertaining to a French department," from Fr. départmental, from O.Fr. departmental, from departement (see department). Meaning "of departmental systems generally" from 1832.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
In light of that dynamic, departmental recommendations against using pepper
  spray on nonviolent arrestees may be needed.
Does not include possible payments based on percentages of ticket revenue or
  sales, departmental fundraising amounts.
It's a standard reference for anyone who is on a departmental colloquium
He has not promised to protect any departmental budgets.
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