Office of the Chief Information Officer

United States Department of Agriculture

Departmental Guidebook 0100-002

Office of the Executive Secretariat (OES), Departmental Policy Office

USDA Departmental Directives Definitions Glossary



This Departmental Guidebook (DG) definitions glossary is intended as a resource of commonly used and standard or preferred United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) definitions for the developers of new and revised Departmental directives.  It is also intended as an aid for the reviewers of draft directives and for those developing other guidance for use within the Department.

Definitions are used to provide meaning for words and phrases as they are to be interpreted in the context of a given directive.  Whenever possible, definitions should come from an accepted and authoritative Federal or USDA source.  Ideally, only one version (the most current, authoritative version) of a given definition should be used in all Departmental directives for consistency and to minimize potential compliance issues and confusion for end users.  However; some definitions may require occasional updating to remain in alignment with new and changing Federal law, regulations, and other guidance.  Definitions should only be adapted or tailored for use in a Departmental directive if there is a compelling and justifiable business, technical, legal, or other reason. 

Beginning with the March 30, 2018 issuance of this Glossary, selected definitions have been marked as being the standard or preferred USDA definition for use in new and revised Departmental directives going forward.  Several definitions have also marked as obsolete and should not be used in new Departmental directive issuances.  Future issuances of this Glossary will strive to drive further convergence toward the consistent use of standard or preferred definitions.

NOTE: This version is currently 395 pages in length.