What is a department?

What is a department? Here are some definitions.

  1. A part, portion, or subdivision.
  2. A distinct course of life, action, study, or the like.
  3. A subdivision of an organization.
    1. (often in proper names) One of the principal divisions of executive government
    2. (in a university) One of the divisions of instructions
  4. A territorial division; a district; especially, in France, one of the districts composed of several arrondissements into which the country is divided for governmental purposes. In France, a department is smaller than a region
  5. (historical) A military subdivision of a country
  6. (obsolete) Act of departing; departure.
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