Department De*part"ment, n. [F. d['e]partement, fr. d['e]partir. See {Depart}, v. i.] 1. Act of departing; departure. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

Sudden departments from one extreme to another. --Wotton. [1913 Webster]

2. A part, portion, or subdivision. [1913 Webster]

3. A distinct course of life, action, study, or the like; appointed sphere or walk; province. [1913 Webster]

Superior to Pope in Pope's own peculiar department of literature. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

4. Subdivision of business or official duty; especially, one of the principal divisions of executive government; as, the treasury department; the war department; also, in a university, one of the divisions of instruction; as, the medical department; the department of physics. [1913 Webster]

5. A territorial division; a district; esp., in France, one of the districts composed of several arrondissements into which the country is divided for governmental purposes; as, the Department of the Loire. [1913 Webster]

6. A military subdivision of a country; as, the Department of the Potomac. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

, , (especially a territorial division), / , , , , , / , , (of a subject or notion)