Hypertext Webster Gateway: "faculty"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Faculty \Fac"ul*ty\, n.; pl. {Faculties}. [F. facult?, L.
facultas, fr. facilis easy (cf. facul easily), fr. fecere to
make. See {Fact}, and cf. {Facility}.]
1. 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; as, faculties of the mind or the soul.

But know that in the soul Are many lesser faculties
that serve Reason as chief. --Milton.

What a piece of work is a man ! how noble in reason
! how infinite in faculty ! --Shak.

2. Special mental endowment; characteristic knack.

He had a ready faculty, indeed, of escaping from any
topic that agitated his too sensitive and nervous
temperament. --Hawthorne.

3. Power; prerogative or attribute of office. [R.]

This Duncan Hath borne his faculties so meek.

4. Privilege or permission, granted by favor or indulgence,
to do a particular thing; authority; license;

The pope . . . granted him a faculty to set him free
from his promise. --Fuller.

It had not only faculty to inspect all bishops'
dioceses, but to change what laws and statutes they
should think fit to alter among the colleges.

5. 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; as, the medical faculty; the legal
faculty, ect.

6. (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.

{Dean of faculty}. See under {Dean}.

{Faculty of advocates}. (Scot.) See under {Advocate}.

Syn: Talent; gift; endowment; dexterity; expertness;
cleverness; readiness; ability; knack.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

n 1: one of the inherent cognitive or perceptual powers of the
mind [syn: {mental faculty}, {module}]
2: the body of teachers and administrators at a school; "the
dean addressed the letter to the entire staff of the
university" [syn: {staff}]

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