cross section

noun

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

Synonyms

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

We’re right now at a cross section of old and new where the old guard, who is used to doing things a certain way, is slowly being phased out. Bridget Read, Vogue, "How Dan Levy Made the Funniest Show on TV," 16 Jan. 2019 Finally, tanks may radically change in appearance, reducing their radar cross section. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Stealth Tanks Are Coming," 7 Aug. 2018 An ideological cross section of legal experts questioned whether the ruling would stand up on appeal, especially given that Congress’s action in 2017 left most of the law in place. Brent Kendall, WSJ, "Federal Judge Rules Affordable Care Act Is Unconstitutional Without Insurance-Coverage Penalty," 15 Dec. 2018 Artistic impression of the Mars Express spacecraft probing the southern hemisphere of Mars, superimposed on a radar cross section of the southern polar layered deposits. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Underground Lake of Liquid Water Detected on Mars," 25 July 2018 For the chassis, that means highly stiffened joints between structures and optimized cross sections for better stability, comfort, and agility (to the degree that a seven-passenger SUV can be agile). Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "Safety first, last, and always: The Subaru Ascent, reviewed," 25 Oct. 2018 This small, intensely crossed section of the border has been in a state of metamorphosis for several years with the upgrade and expansion of the San Ysidro Port of Entry. Sandra Dibble, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Study sees two countries, one neighborhood at the U.S.-Mexico border," 11 June 2018 The 12 to 15 activists attracted to Leon Valley last month were a fairly typical cross section of the national movement, some of them said. Bruce Selcraig, San Antonio Express-News, "Courting arrest for online clicks and the First Amendment," 9 July 2018 So will efforts to attract a cross section of residents and visitors on an ongoing basis. John King, SFChronicle.com, "Civic Center makeover: Here’s the plan to revamp the heart of SF," 29 June 2018

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

The first known use of cross section was in 1835

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More Definitions for cross section

cross section

noun

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

noun

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

noun

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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