Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Idioms, Wikipedia.


1. a major subdivision or branch of the administration of a government
2. a branch or subdivision of learning
3. a territorial and administrative division in several countries, such as France



(Russian, departament).

(1) The basic administrative and territorial unit in France (in 1970 there were 95 departments). The organ of self-government in the department is the general council and the departmental commission that it elects. The prefect is the representative of the central government in the department.

(2) In some countries, the name of a government department or ministry, such as the State Department of the United States.

(3) The department in Russia was a subdivision of higher, central, and local institutions and sometimes an independent central institution. Departments existed from the 18th century to the early 20th century. A number of collegiums were divided into departments: the Collegium of Livonian and Estonian Affairs (1739), the Votchina (Patrimonial Estate) Collegium (1762), the collegiums of Justice and Financial Inspection and Auditing (1762 and 1763), and the Collegium of Foreign Affairs (1779). In the Admiralty and Military collegiums (1763 and 1780) departments were part of collegium subdivisions called ekspeditsii. On Dec. 15, 1763, the Senate was divided into six departments each headed by a chief procurator (by the mid-19th century there were 12 departments and in the early 20th century, six). The provincial reform of 1775 divided several local courts into departments.

In the late 18th and early 19th century a number of independent departments arose in Russia: the Department of Udely (Crown Domains), headed by a minister (established in 1797 and from 1826 to 1892 part of the Ministry of the Imperial Court), and the Department of Water Communications (1798-1809), headed by a main director. With the establishment of ministries on Sept. 8, 1802, departments were created within the ministries. In accordance with the General Establishment of Ministries of June 25, 1811, the departments became the main executive agencies of the ministries. A director headed each department, and it consisted of sections whose officials met in general sessions of the department. Some departments, such as the Police Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, acquired great independence within their ministries. From 1810 there were departments in the State Council. Departments were abolished after the October Revolution of 1917.


Eroshkin, N. P. Istoriia gosudarstvennykh uchrezhdenii dorevoliutsionnoi Rossii, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1968. Chapters 5-11.


References in periodicals archive ?
Has held a number of different positions with state government, including assistant attorney general for the Department of Transportation, legal counsel to the State Ombudsman and counsel to the Iowa Legislature in the area of taxation and economic development.
City officials, facing a long-term struggle to have a Fire Department that reflects the city's demographics, believe a recent series of high-profile incidents has made their job of recruiting more difficult.
Reserve officer candidates also must submit to a background check, which may include an interview, possibly with the department chief or city council; fingerprinting; drug testing; criminal, credit, driving-record, and work-history checks; and a polygraph examination.
The taxpayer's engineering department provides estimates, project planning and project design to plant department personnel engaged in the construction, maintenance, repair, rearrangement and removal of the taxpayer's systems.
She observed that in the past the Treasury Department has expressed opposition to codification of the economic substance provision and inquired whether the Treasury Department remains opposed to the proposal.
One of the most common mistakes is the lack of certifying the correction at the Department of Buildings after the judge has made a decision.
Financial statements are sent to every department seven to 10 days after a period closes.
However, the number of personnel employed and the use of overtime is mostly within control of the department manager (or should be if one expects to hold them accountable) Outside purchases, in both quantity and price, are definitely the responsibility of the department manager.
3) As an element of net-centric operations, the Department is developing a broad range of networked systems to generate new capabilities and multiply existing force structure effectiveness.
Ultimately, Xcel Energy's media relations department sought to provide company managers and executives with data regarding the impact of news coverage on the company's brand image, to provide information about news media coverage trends and to recommend strategies to affect ongoing news media coverage.
The Department of Special Education is dedicated to providing universal design and accessibility for all students.
Although the Justice Department cannot use that provision against Stewart--and a California federal judge recently limited its reach--the department's court submissions in her case take the position that legal representation of alleged terrorists is a crime under the PATRIOT Act if the lawyer can be portrayed as acting under "the direction and control" of a foreign terrorist organization.

Full browser ?