1. The act of leaving.
2. A starting out, as on a trip or a new course of action.
3. A divergence or deviation, as from an established rule, plan, or procedure: ordered curry as a departure from his usual bland diet.
4. Nautical The distance sailed due east or west by a ship on its course.
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.