From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:
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 instruction; 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.
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:
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