Fac·ul·ty n.; pl. Faculties
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.]
Hath borne his faculties so meek. --Shak.
4. Privilege or permission, granted by favor or indulgence, to do a particular thing; authority; license; dispensation.
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. --Evelyn.
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, etc.
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.