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.) 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.