n. pl. fac·ul·ties
a. An inherent power or ability: the faculty of speech.
b. A talent or natural ability for something: has a wonderful faculty for storytelling.
a. (used with a sing. or pl. verb) The teachers and instructors of a school or college, or of one of its divisions, especially those considered permanent, full-time employees.
b. One of the divisions of a college or university: the faculty of law.
c. All of the members of a learned profession: the medical faculty.
3. Authorization granted by authority; conferred power.
4. Archaic An occupation; a trade.
[Middle English faculte, from Old French, from Latin facultās, power, ability, from facilis, easy; see dhē- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.