noun, plural fac·ul·ties.
  1. an ability, natural or acquired, for a particular kind of action: a faculty for making friends easily.
  2. one of the powers of the mind, as memory, reason, or speech: Though very sick, he is in full possession of all his faculties.
  3. an inherent capability of the body: the faculties of sight and hearing.
  4. exceptional ability or aptitude: a president with a faculty for management.
  5. Education.
    1. the entire teaching and administrative force of a university, college, or school.
    2. one of the departments of learning, as theology, medicine, or law, in a university.
    3. the teaching body, sometimes with the students, in any of these departments.
  6. the members of a learned profession: the medical faculty.
  7. a power or privilege conferred by the state, a superior, etc.: The police were given the faculty to search the building.
  8. Ecclesiastical. a dispensation, license, or authorization.

Origin of faculty

1350–1400; Middle English faculte < Anglo-French, Middle French < Latin facultāt- (stem of facultās) ability, power, equivalent to facil(is) easy (see facile) + -tāt- -ty2; cf. facility
Related formsin·ter·fac·ul·ty, noun, plural in·ter·fac·ul·ties, adjectivepro·fac·ul·ty, adjectiveun·der·fac·ul·ty, noun, plural un·der·fac·ul·ties.

Synonyms for faculty

Synonym study

1. See ability.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for faculty's


noun plural -ties
  1. one of the inherent powers of the mind or body, such as reason, memory, sight, or hearing
  2. any ability or power, whether acquired or inherent
  3. a conferred power or right
    1. a department within a university or college devoted to a particular branch of knowledge
    2. the staff of such a department
    3. mainly US and Canadianall the teaching staff at a university, college, school, etc
  4. all members of a learned profession
  5. archaic occupation

Word Origin for faculty

C14 (in the sense: department of learning): from Latin facultās capability; related to Latin facilis easy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for faculty's



late 14c., "ability, means, resources," from Old French faculté (14c.) "skill, accomplishment, learning," and directly from Latin facultatem (nominative facultas) "power, ability, wealth," from *facli-tat-s, from facilis (see facile).

Academic sense "branch of knowledge" probably was the earliest in English (attested in Anglo-Latin 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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

faculty's in Medicine


  1. A natural or specialized power of a living organism.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.