Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An inherent power or ability.
  • noun A talent or natural ability for something.
  • noun The teachers and instructors of a school or college, or of one of its divisions, especially those considered permanent, full-time employees.
  • noun One of the divisions of a college or university.
  • noun All of the members of a learned profession.
  • noun Authorization granted by authority; conferred power.
  • noun Archaic An occupation; a trade.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A specific power, mental or physical; a special capacity for any particular kind of action or affection; natural capability: sometimes, but rarely, restricted to an active power: as, the faculty of perception or of speech; a faculty for mimicry: sometimes extended to inanimate things: as, the faculty of a wedge; the faculty of simples. See theory of faculties, below.
  • noun A power or privilege conferred; bestowed capacity for the performance of any act or function; ability or authority acquired in any way.
  • noun A body of persons on whom are conferred specific professional powers; all the authorized members of a learned profession collectively, or a body associated or acting together in a particular place or institution; when used absolutely (the faculty), the medical profession: as, the learned faculty of the law; the faculty of a college; the Faculty of Advocates in Edinburgh.
  • noun Executive ability; skill in devising and executing or supervising: applied usually to domestic affairs.
  • noun In colonial New England, a trade or profession.
  • noun In the law of divorce (commonly in the plural), the pecuniary ability of the husband, in view of both his property and his capacity to earn money, with reference to which the amount of the wife's alimony is fixed.
  • noun See the adjectives.
  • noun In algebra, the product of a series of factors in arithmetical progression, a(a + b) … (a + (m — 1)b).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Ability to act or perform, whether inborn or cultivated; capacity for any natural function; especially, an original mental power or capacity for any of the well-known classes of mental activity; psychical or soul capacity; capacity for any of the leading kinds of soul activity, as knowledge, feeling, volition; intellectual endowment or gift; power.
  • noun Special mental endowment; characteristic knack.
  • noun rare Power; prerogative or attribute of office.
  • noun Privilege or permission, granted by favor or indulgence, to do a particular thing; authority; license; dispensation.
  • noun A body of a men to whom any specific right or privilege is granted; formerly, the graduates in any of the four departments of a university or college (Philosophy, Law, Medicine, or Theology), to whom was granted the right of teaching (profitendi or docendi) in the department in which they had studied; at present, the members of a profession itself
  • noun (Amer. Colleges) The body of person to whom are intrusted the government and instruction of a college or university, or of one of its departments; the president, professors, and tutors in a college.
  • noun See under Dean.
  • noun (Scot.) See under Advocate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The scholarly staff at colleges or universities, as opposed to the students or support staff.
  • noun A division of a university (e.g. a Faculty of Science or Faculty of Medicine).
  • noun An ability, skill, or power.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun one of the inherent cognitive or perceptual powers of the mind
  • noun the body of teachers and administrators at a school

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English faculte, from Old French, from Latin facultās, power, ability, from facilis, easy; see dhē- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

Examples

  • The term faculty was used at first to designate a specific field of knowledge; but in 1255 we find the Masters at Paris using the term in the modern meaning of

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 1: Aachen-Assize

  • The first taught the legal and business aspects of running a dispensary and, because the faculty is active in the cannabusiness, emphasized such practical concerns as not getting robbed (keep your stash in a gun safe) and not getting busted (exude good corporate citizenship — incorporate, pay your taxes, join the Chamber of Commerce; Duncan won over suspicious neighbors by cleaning up all the dog poop on the block).

    Cannabusiness

  • The first taught the legal and business aspects of running a dispensary and, because the faculty is active in the cannabusiness, emphasized such practical concerns as not getting robbed (keep your stash in a gun safe) and not getting busted (exude good corporate citizenship — incorporate, pay your taxes, join the Chamber of Commerce; Duncan won over suspicious neighbors by cleaning up all the dog poop on the block).

    Cannabusiness

  • The health and safety head in our faculty is awesome, if a little over-enthusiastic.

    Safety Buffoons

  • His extramarital love affairs seem to have been Platonic; and although he once spoke of the “brutal sensuality”which “leads me so close to the greatest sins,” he placed what he called his faculty for “depraved fantasy” in the servicenot of love but of power.

    FORGE OF EMPIRES 1861-1871

  • His extramarital love affairs seem to have been Platonic; and although he once spoke of the “brutal sensuality”which “leads me so close to the greatest sins,” he placed what he called his faculty for “depraved fantasy” in the servicenot of love but of power.

    FORGE OF EMPIRES 1861-1871

  • His extramarital love affairs seem to have been Platonic; and although he once spoke of the “brutal sensuality”which “leads me so close to the greatest sins,” he placed what he called his faculty for “depraved fantasy” in the servicenot of love but of power.

    FORGE OF EMPIRES 1861-1871

  • His extramarital love affairs seem to have been Platonic; and although he once spoke of the “brutal sensuality”which “leads me so close to the greatest sins,” he placed what he called his faculty for “depraved fantasy” in the servicenot of love but of power.

    FORGE OF EMPIRES 1861-1871

  • His extramarital love affairs seem to have been Platonic; and although he once spoke of the “brutal sensuality”which “leads me so close to the greatest sins,” he placed what he called his faculty for “depraved fantasy” in the servicenot of love but of power.

    FORGE OF EMPIRES 1861-1871

  • Carlyle, in the first of his two essays on Richter (1827), expressly distinguishes true humour from irony, which he describes as a faculty of caricature, consisting "chiefly in a certain superficial distortion or reversal of objects" -- the method of

    A History of English Romanticism in the Nineteenth Century

Comments

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  • Also: doctors, physicians.

    January 2, 2008

  • I proposed a physician indeed; but he would not hear of one. I have great honour for the faculty; and the greater, as I have always observed that those who treat the professors of the art of healing contemptuously, too generally treat higher institutions in the same manner.

    Clarissa Harlowe to Anna Howe, Clarissa by Samuel Richardson

    January 2, 2008

  • A different sense, from https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/jan/30/mary-beard-the-cult-of:

    The classics faculty in Cambridge is a modest, 1960s building on the leafy Sidgwick Avenue

    Is this new, or simply synecdoche?

    January 30, 2018