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


sample, sampler, sampling, selection, slice

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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

Laura Rodriguez, a music teacher from Caguas who arrived in San Juan around dawn, said she was incensed that Rossello has refused to step down in spite of prolonged demands by a broad cross section of Puerto Ricans. Los Angeles Times, "‘I feel indignation, pure indignation’: Thousands of Puerto Ricans mass for protest against governor," 22 July 2019 The 41st class of Leadership Louisville features a broad cross section of individuals, from health care, banking, the arts, education and local journalism. Grace Schneider, The Courier-Journal, "Who's in the newest Leadership Louisville class? Take a look," 18 July 2019 Romero’s research was published last week by the California Latino Economic Institute, a nonprofit that includes a broad cross section of business, education and government leaders. John Myers,, "Nearly all of California’s crises are worse in its Latino communities, new report says," 14 July 2019 The Heights-Hillcrest Regional Chamber of Commerce has elected new officers for the 2019-2020 fiscal year at their July board meeting, coming from a cross section of fields of endeavor. Maria Shine Stewart,, "Business progress sparks memories of days gone by: Sun Messages," 4 Aug. 2019 Evolutionary developmental biologists have now discovered that the genes that guide the initial formation of legs in us and other vertebrates also guide the formation of the squid’s lens (seen in cross section of eye above). Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "The genes that make squid eyes also make your legs," 15 July 2019 Demonstrators came from a wide cross section of society, including political parties, religious groups and community organizations. Washington Post, "2 deaths as protesters burn tires, block roads in Haiti," 10 June 2019 His organization is an umbrella group that represents a cross section of business and consumer groups. Washington Post, "Setbacks for Trump’s drive to lower prescription drug costs," 11 July 2019 Working between the indie label's New York and London offices, Adebiyi will oversee the cross section between A&R and marketing by working as a liaison between artists and the marketing team. Hannah Malach, Billboard, "Executive Turntable: Moves at SoundCloud, Partisan Records & More," 1 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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Statistics for cross section

Last Updated

27 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cross section

The first known use of cross section was in 1835

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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).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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