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.
faculty (plural faculties)
- (chiefly US) The academic staff at schools, colleges, universities or not-for-profit research institutes, as opposed to the students or support staff.
- A division of a university.
- She transferred from the Faculty of Science to the Faculty of Medicine.
- Often in the plural: an ability, power, or skill.
- He lived until he reached the age of 90 with most of his faculties intact.
- 1603, William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act II, scene ii:
- What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason!
- how infinite in faculty!
- 1704, [Jonathan Swift], “Section IX. A Digression Concerning the Original, the Use and Improvement of Madness in a Commonwealth.”, in A Tale of a Tub. […], London: […] John Nutt, […], OCLC 752990886, pages 169–170:
- The preſent Argument is the moſt abſtracted that ever I engaged in, it ſtrains my Faculties to their higheſt Stretch; and I deſire the Reader to attend with utmoſt perpenſity; For, I now proceed to unravel this knotty Point.
- 1974, Thomas S[tephen] Szasz, chapter 12, in The Myth of Mental Illness, →ISBN, page 201:
- I have used the notion of games so far as if it were familiar to most people. I think this is justified as everyone knows how to play some games. Accordingly, games serve admirably as models for the clarification of other, less well-understood, social-psychological phenomena. Yet the ability to follow rules, play games, and construct new games is a faculty not equally shared by all persons.
- An authority, power, or privilege conferred by a higher authority.
- (Church of England) A licence to make alterations to a church.
- The members of a profession.
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