synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of faculty in English

English Online Dictionary. What means faculty‎? What does faculty mean?



From Middle English faculte (power, property), from Old French faculte, from Latin facultas (capability, ability, skill, abundance, plenty, stock, goods, property; in Medieval Latin also a body of teachers), another form of facilitas (easiness, facility, etc.), from facul, another form of facilis (easy, facile); see facile. Doublet of facility.


  • IPA(key): /ˈfæ.kəl.ti/


faculty (plural faculties)

  1. (chiefly US) The academic staff at schools, colleges, universities or not-for-profit research institutes, as opposed to the students or support staff.
  2. A division of a university.
  3. (Often in the plural): an ability, power, or skill.
    • 1624, John Donne, Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, Meditation XVIII., in The Complete Poetry and Selected Prose of John Donne, ed. Charles M. Coffin, New York: Modern Library (1952), pp. 442-444:
      If I will aske meere Philosophers, what the soule is, I shall finde amongst them, that will tell me, it is nothing, but the temperament and harmony, and just and equall composition of the Elements in the body, which produces all those faculties which we ascribe to the soule […]
  4. An authority, power, or privilege conferred by a higher authority.
  5. (Church of England) A licence to make alterations to a church.
  6. The members of a profession.

Usage notes

In the sense of academic staff at a university, academic staff, teaching staff or simply staff are preferred in British English.


  • See also Thesaurus:faculty

Related terms

  • facultative


Further reading

  • “faculty”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.
  • “faculty”, in The Century Dictionary [], New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911, →OCLC.

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