View synonyms for department


[ dih-pahrt-muhnt ]


  1. a distinct part of anything arranged in divisions; a division of a complex whole or organized system.

    Synonyms: segment, unit, section, bureau, branch

  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.


/ dɪˈpɑːtmənt; ˌdiːpɑːtˈmɛntəl /


  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

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Derived Forms

  • departmental, adjective
  • ˌdepartˈmentally, adverb

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Other Words From

  • de·part·men·tal [dih-pahrt-, men, -tl, dee-pahrt-], adjective
  • de·part·mental·ly adverb
  • nonde·part·mental adjective
  • nonde·part·mental·ly adverb
  • prede·part·mental adjective
  • subde·partment noun
  • subde·part·mental adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of department1

First recorded in 1730–35; from French département; equivalent to depart + -ment

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Word History and Origins

Origin of department1

C18: from French département, from départir to divide; see depart

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Example Sentences

The top four assist leaders are too, prompting a look into why Canadian teams are surging in the scoring department.

Regardless of what kind of tool they’re selling, AI hiring vendors generally promise that these technologies will find better-qualified and more diverse candidates at lower cost and in less time than traditional HR departments.

Hospitals have conducted the most vaccinations, followed by local health departments and long-term care facilities.

A department spokesman said he could not be more specific about when the CPUC received the payments, so it’s not clear if that happened before or after Stebbins raised her concerns.

In an email to department employees the following morning, he said he was “honored and delighted to be officially on board.”

Their friendship began when Krauss, who was chairman of the physics department at Case Western in Cleveland, sought out Epstein.

The “doctorate” Duke claims is from an anti-Semitic Ukranian “diploma mill” as described by the State Department.

Seventy-two adults between the ages of 18 and 50 are participating in the trial, led by the pediatrics department at Oxford.

The State Department found that with high oil prices, the tar sands would be mined for oil, pipeline or no.

The EPA felt that the State Department had not looked carefully enough at the impact of the pipeline if oil prices fell.

At the latter date all artists were obliged to vacate the Sorbonne ateliers to make room for some new department of instruction.

There is one other department of children's art which clearly does deserve to be studied with some care—their drawing.

The percentage of reserves to deposits, which marks the safety line for England, refers to the items in the banking department.

There are many articles in the American department of which I would gladly speak, that have attracted no public notice.

That's the crushing kind of repertoire he gives his pupils—so exhaustive and complete in every department.