Meaning of department

de•part•ment

Pronunciation: (di-pärt'munt), [key]
— n.
  1. a distinct part of anything arranged in divisions; a division of a complex whole or organized system.
  2. one of the principal branches of a governmental organization: the sanitation department.
  3. (cap.) 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 cap.)(formerly) a large geographical division of the U.S. or its possessions as divided for military and defense purposes: the Hawaiian Department.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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