1. One of the territorial divisions of a country. The term is chieflyused in this sense in France, where the division of the country into departments Issomewhat analogous, both territorially and for governmental purposes, to the divisionof an American state into counties.2. One of the divisions of the executive branch of government. Used in this sense inthe United States, where each department is charged with a specific class of duties, andcomprises an organized staff of officials ; e. g., the department of state, department ofwar, etc.