cross section


Definition of cross section

1a : a cutting or piece of something cut off at right angles to an axis also : a representation of such a cutting
2 : a measure of the probability of an encounter between particles such as will result in a specified effect (such as scattering or capture)
3 : a composite representation typifying the constituents of a thing in their relations

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Other Words from cross section

cross-section transitive verb
cross-sectional \ ˈkrȯs-​ˈsek-​shnəl How to pronounce cross-sectional (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Synonyms for cross section


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Examples of cross section in a Sentence

a detailed cross section of the human brain The drawing showed the human brain in cross section. The class surveyed a cross section of the student body. The people in our neighborhood are a representative cross section of American society.
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Recent Examples on the Web On a recent Monday, Jason Berlin led a group of activists registering voters at Saddleback College, a Mission Viejo community college that is a cross section of the county’s young voters. Joe Garofoli,, "Flipping Orange County was key for Democrats. Now the trick is to keep it," 1 Dec. 2019 The cross section of 28 chambers of commerce and other associations undertook months of discussing various initiatives and then each group was polled on its preferred solutions., "Nearly every major business organization in Massachusetts has united behind a call for more government spending to expand public transit and improve the roads, with the hope that a new infusion of cash can help solve the congestion-related woes that vex their workers.," 30 Oct. 2019 To effectively dissipate this heat, objects can be no larger than 41.4 centimeters by 25.9 centimeters at the cross section. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "Fast new 3D printing method creates objects as big as an adult human," 17 Oct. 2019 The crowd wrapped around the funeral home was a cross section of El Paso — a mostly Hispanic group, young and old, dressed in suits and dresses, blue jeans and work shirts, zoot suits, motorcycle club colors, and military dress uniforms. Robert Moore, Washington Post, "‘Here in El Paso, we’re just a family’: City turns out for widower of Walmart massacre victim," 17 Aug. 2019 Their prototype can make things four metres tall, with a cross section of nearly a square metre. The Economist, "Giant 3D printers for making boats, bridges, buildings and rockets," 14 Nov. 2019 Day 19: Take a walk on the lakefront: Mingle with the great cross section of people on Chicago’s lakefront, from families barbecuing to the fitness obsessed. Chicago Tribune Staff,, "It’s not over yet — here are 25 things you should do in Chicago before the end of summer," 29 Aug. 2019 That cross section of endorsements includes former state Supreme Court Chief Justice John Broderick, longtime state Sen. Lou D'Allesandro and Rep. Denny Ruprecht, currently the youngest representative in the State House. NBC News, "Running in New Hampshire, Joe Biden is a familiar face in unfamiliar territory," 23 Aug. 2019 The young volunteers were a cross section of the colony of Maryland: wealthy merchants’ sons, dockworkers, school kids and free and enslaved black youth. Time, "The Maryland 400 Lost a Battle But Helped Win a War. On the 4th of July, We Should Remember Their Sacrifice," 4 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cross section.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cross section

1835, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for cross section

Time Traveler

The first known use of cross section was in 1835

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Statistics for cross section

Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cross section.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 25 January 2020.

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More Definitions for cross section

cross section


English Language Learners Definition of cross section

: a view or drawing that shows what the inside of something looks like after a cut has been made across it
: a small group that includes examples of the different types of people or things in a larger group

cross section


Kids Definition of cross section

1 : a cutting made across something (as a log or an apple)
2 : a view showing what the inside of something looks like after a cut has been made through it
3 : a small group that includes examples of the different types of people or things in a larger group a cross section of voters

cross section


Medical Definition of cross section

: a cutting or piece of something cut off at right angles to an axis also : a representation of such a cutting

Other Words from cross section

cross-sectional \ ˌkrȯ(s)-​ˈsek-​shnəl, -​shən-​ᵊl How to pronounce cross-sectional (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on cross section

What made you want to look up cross section? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


dull or mediocre

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