See also: départ



From Old French departir, from Late Latin departiō (to divide).



depart (third-person singular simple present departs, present participle departing, simple past and past participle departed)

  1. (intransitive) To leave.
    • c. 1598, William Shakespeare, Henry V, Act IV, Scene 3,[1]
      [...] he which hath no stomach to this fight,
      Let him depart;
    • 1611, King James Version of the Bible, 1 Samuel 4.21,[2]
      The glory is departed from Israel.
    • 1839, Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby, Chapter 56,[3]
      With very little excuse for departing so abruptly, Ralph left him [...]
    • 2009, George Monbiot, The Guardian, 7 September:
      The government maintains that if its regulations are too stiff, British bankers will leave the country. It's true that they have been threatening to depart in droves, but the obvious answer is: "Sod off then."
  2. (intransitive) To set out on a journey.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, “xviij”, in Le Morte Darthur, book VII:
      And soo she receyued hym vpon suffysaunt seurte / so alle her hurtes were wel restored of al that she coude complayne / and thenne he departed vnto the Courte of kyne Arthur / and there openly the reed knyghte of the reed laundes putte hym in the mercy of syre Launcelot and syr Gawayne
    • 1886, Thomas Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Chapter 28,[4]
      Elizabeth saw her friend depart for Port-Bredy [...]
    • 1904, Joseph Conrad, Nostromo, Part 2, Chapter 4,[5]
      Distant acclamations, words of command yelled out, and a roll of drums on the jetty greeted the departing general.
  3. (intransitive, euphemistic) To die.
  4. (intransitive, figuratively) To disappear, vanish; to cease to exist.
    • 1846, Charlotte Brontë, “The Teacher’s Monologue” in Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell,[8]
      For youth departs, and pleasure flies,
      And life consumes away,
    • 1934, George Orwell, Burmese Days, Chapter 15,[9]
      An extraordinary joie de vivre had come over them all as soon as the shaky feeling departed from their legs.
    • 1953, James Baldwin, “Gabriel’s Prayer”, in Go Tell It on the Mountain (A Dial Press Trade Paperback Book), New York, N.Y.: Bantam Dell, published July 2005, →ISBN, part 2 (The Prayers of the Saints), page 110:
      [] then he knew it was Elisha, and his fear departed.
  5. (intransitive) To deviate (from), be different (from), fail to conform.
    His latest statements seemed to depart from party policy somewhat.
    to depart from a title or defence in legal pleading
    • 1788, James Madison, “Number 39,” in Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison, The Federalist, On the New Constitution, Philadelphia: Benjamin Warner, 1818, p. 204,[10]
      If the plan of the convention, therefore, be found to depart from the republican character, its advocates must abandon it as no longer defensible.
    • 1960, Muriel Spark, The Bachelors, Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1961, Chapter 12, p. 201,[11]
      [...] he compared the precise points at which the handwriting of the letter departed from examples of Freda Flower’s handwriting and coincided with examples of Patrick Seton’s [...]
    • 1960 February, “The first of London's new Piccadilly Line trains is delivered”, in Trains Illustrated, page 94:
      The interior colour scheme departs from the conventional L.T. red and green upholstery and matching paintwork, which has been replaced by a maroon and grey moquette with dove grey paint below the waist rail.
  6. (transitive) To go away from; to leave.
    • 1589, John Eliot (translator), Aduise giuen by a Catholike gentleman, to the nobilitie & commons of France, London: John Wolfe, p. 27,[12]
      [...] he [...] did pray them only to do no thing against the honor of God, & rather to depart the territories of his empire, then to suffer their consciences to be forced.
    • 1771, [Oliver] Goldsmith, “Henry II”, in The History of England, from the Earliest Times to the Death of George II. [], volume I, London: [] T[homas] Davies, []; [T.] Becket and [P. A.] De Hondt; and T[homas] Cadell, [], OCLC 228756232, page 236:
      Then, departing the palace, he [Thomas Becket] asked the king's immediate permission to leave Northampton; [...]
    • 1989, Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day, Vintage Canada, 2014, “Day Two: Morning,”[13]
      At one stage, when I happened to depart the room in the midst of an address by one of the German gentlemen, M. Dupont suddenly rose and followed me out.
    • 1997, Richard Flanagan, The Sound of One Hand Clapping, New York: Grove, 2001, Chapter 64, p. 323,[14]
      She felt what Mrs Maja Picotti had suspected in her prayers, that her soul had departed her body.
    • 2009, The Guardian, Sport Blog, 9 September:
      The build-up to Saturday's visit of Macedonia and this encounter with the Dutch could be construed as odd in the sense that there seemed a basic acceptance, inevitability even, that Burley would depart office in their immediate aftermath.
  7. (obsolete, transitive) To divide up; to distribute, share.
    • a. 1472, Thomas Malory, “(please specify the chapter)”, in [Le Morte Darthur], book VII, [London: [] by William Caxton], published 31 July 1485, OCLC 71490786; republished as H[einrich] Oskar Sommer, editor, Le Morte Darthur [], London: David Nutt, [], 1889, OCLC 890162034:
      and so all the worlde seythe that betwyxte three knyghtes is departed clerely knyghthode, that is Sir Launcelot du Lake, Sir Trystrams de Lyones and Sir Lamerok de Galys—thes bere now the renowne.
    • 1595, Arthur Golding (translator), Politicke, Moral, and Martial Discourses by Jacques Hurault, London: Adam Islip, Book 3, Chapter 17, p. 458,[15]
      Then fortified hee his trenches, and departed them in foure quarters, wherein he made good store of fires, in such distance one from another, as are woont to be made in a campe.
    • 1597, Thomas Dawson, The Second part of the good Hus-wiues Iewell, London: Edward White,[16]
      Fyrst on that day yee shall serue a calfe sodden and blessed, and sodden egs with greene sauce, and set them before the most principall estate, and that Lorde because of his high estate, shal depart them al about him [...]
    • 1602, Patrick Simon (translator), The Estate of the Church with the Discourse of Times, from the Apostles untill This Present, London: Thomas Creede, “Extract out of the Acts of the Councell of Nice,” p. 102,[17]
      That Deacons be not preferred before Priests, nor sit in their ranke, nor in their presence do distribute the Sacraments but only minister vnto them, and assist when they do distribute: but when there are no Priests there, in that case they may depart them.
  8. (obsolete, transitive) To separate, part.
    • c. 1605–1608, William Shakespeare, “The Life of Tymon of Athens”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene i]:
      Ere we depart, we'll share a bounteous time
    • a. 1472, Thomas Malory, “(please specify the chapter)”, in [Le Morte Darthur], book IV, [London: [] by William Caxton], published 31 July 1485, OCLC 71490786; republished as H[einrich] Oskar Sommer, editor, Le Morte Darthur [], London: David Nutt, [], 1889, OCLC 890162034:
      Syr knyght[,] said the two squyers that were with her[,] yonder are two knyghtes that fyghte for thys lady, goo thyder and departe them [].
    • 1550, Thomas Nicholls (translator), The Hystory Writtone by Thucidides the Athenyan, London, Book 3, Chapter 2, p. 74,[18]
      Thies be than the causes [...] for the whiche we depart our selues from the Athenyans [...]
    • 1582, Stephen Batman (translator), Batman vppon Bartholome his booke De proprietatibus rerum, London: Thomas East, Book 5, Chapter 26, “Of the shoulders,”[19]
      The twisted forkes [i.e. fork-shaped bones] be néedfull to binde the shoulders, and to depart them from the breast.
    • 1617, Thomas Taylor, Dauids Learning, London: Henry Fetherstone, Dedicatory epistle,[20]
      Great is the affinitie of soule and body, neerely coupled and wedded by God, like Husband & Wife, for better and worse till death depart them.

Usage notesEdit

The past participle, departed, unlike that of the majority of English verbs, has an active, rather than a passive sense when used adjectivally:



Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.



  1. (obsolete) Division; separation, as of compound substances.
  2. (obsolete) A going away; departure.
    • c. 1590, William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 2, Act I, Scene 1,[24]
      at my depart for France
    • 1633, John Donne, “To M. I. L.” in Poems, London: John Marriot, p. 101,[25]
      Of that short Roll of friends writ in my heart
      Which with thy name begins, since their depart,
      Whether in the English Provinces they be,
      Or drinke of Po, Sequan, or Danubie,