• (RP) IPA: /dɪˈpɑːtm(ə)nt/
  • (GA) IPA: /dəˈpɑɹtmənt/

department (plural departments)

  1. A part, portion, or subdivision.
  2. A distinct course of life, action, study, or the like.
    Technical things are not his department; he's a people person.
    • 1881, Thomas Babington Macaulay, “[,_Ninth_Edition/Johnson,_Samuel Samuel Johnson]”, in Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition:
      superior to Pope in Pope's own peculiar department of literature
  3. A subdivision of an organization.
    1. (often, in proper names) One of the principal divisions of executive government
      the Treasury Department; the Department of Agriculture; police department
    2. (in a university) One of the divisions of instructions
      the physics department; the gender studies department
  4. A territorial division; a district; especially, in France, one of the districts into which the country is divided for governmental purposes, similar to a county in the UK and in the USA. France is composed of 101 départements organized in 18 régions, each department is divided into arrondissements, in turn divided into cantons.
    • 2002, Colin Jones (historian), The Great Nation: France from Louis XV to the 1715-99, Penguin 2003, p. 427:
      The departments were the bricks from which the edifice of the nation was to be constructed.
  5. (historical) A military subdivision of a country
    the Department of the Potomac
  6. (obsolete) Act of departing; departure.
    • sudden 'departments from one extreme to another
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