A subdivision of a larger organization. Often having it's own budget, and director. Departments are usually created with a charter to perform certain tasks required for the larger organization to do whatever it does.
A key part in bureaucracy.

De*part"ment (?), n. [F. d'epartement, fr. d'epartir. See Depart, v. i.]

1.

Act of departing; departure.

[Obs.]

Sudden departments from one extreme to another. Wotton.

2.

A part, portion, or subdivision.

3.

A distinct course of life, action, study, or the like; appointed sphere or walk; province.

Superior to Pope in Pope's own peculiar department of literature. Macaulay.

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 instructions; as, the medical department; the department of physics.

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.

6.

A military subdivision of a country; as, the Department of the Potomac.

 

© Webster 1913.

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