late 14c., "ability, means, resources," from O.Fr. faculté
, from L. facultatem
) "power, ability, wealth," from *facli-tat-s,
). Academic sense was probably the earliest in English (attested in Anglo-L. from late 12c.), on notion of "ability in knowledge." Originally each department was a faculty; the use in reference to the whole teaching staff of a college dates from 1767.