in·ter·sect | \ ˌin-tər-ˈsekt \
intersected; intersecting; intersects

Definition of intersect 

transitive verb

: to pierce or divide by passing through or across : cross a comet intersecting earth's orbit one line intersects another

intransitive verb

1 : to meet and cross at a point lines intersecting at right angles

2 : to share a common area : overlap where morality and self-interest intersect

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Synonyms for intersect


bisect, cross, cut

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Examples of intersect in a Sentence

A dry stream bed intersects the trail in several places. Line A intersects with line B. The two roads intersect at the edge of town.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Principal Angelia Ross knows firsthand how global events can intersect with the everyday lives of Texas teachers. Diane Smith, star-telegram, "'After the headlines have faded,' they will be the first to see immigrant children's trauma," 29 June 2018 Follow @mboorstein Sarah Pulliam Bailey is a religion reporter, covering how faith intersects with politics and culture. Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post, "How women led to the dramatic rise and fall of Southern Baptist leader Paige Patterson," 10 June 2018 Disability rights groups push for systemic change As more young adults discover their sense of identity, the disability community is becoming more aware of how its concerns intersect with those of other minority groups. Abigail Abrams, Time, "'Our Lives Are at Stake.' How Donald Trump Inadvertently Sparked a New Disability Rights Movement," 26 Feb. 2018 Unlike the Italian exotics whose curves ancient Roman sculptors would recognize as beautiful, the Senna is all lines, planes, and intersecting surfaces. Basem Wasef, WIRED, "McLaren's $958,966 Senna Hypercar Ain't Pretty, but It Can Whip a Track," 30 June 2018 Constructed as glass domes and located on the headquarters campus, these three intersecting Spheres are filled with roughly 40,000 plants and serve as spaces for employees to work and lounge. Ben Tobin, USA TODAY, "Desk, swivel chair, trees: Why companies are moving the office outdoors," 28 June 2018 The whirlpools are created by intersecting oceanic currents that are slightly warmer than the surrounding waters, allowing heat to penetrate more deeply than usual into the twilight zone. Brian J. Skerry, National Geographic, "Why Great White Sharks Hang Out in Warm Whirlpools," 19 June 2018 Prague in particular is home to several intersecting Ley lines unseen by the typical citizen, turning the city into a magical battleground. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Magic creeps into the Cold War in podcast The Witch Who Came in From the Cold," 17 June 2018 Divisadero, most representatively, follows a series of intersecting characters whose lives are broken repeatedly by World War I, World War II, Vietnam, the First Gulf War, and then the Second. Andrew Lanham, The New Republic, "Michael Ondaatje’s Haunting Pasts," 8 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'intersect.' 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 intersect

1615, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for intersect

Latin intersectus, past participle of intersecare, from inter- + secare to cut — more at saw

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Statistics for intersect

Last Updated

12 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for intersect

The first known use of intersect was in 1615

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More Definitions for intersect



English Language Learners Definition of intersect

: to divide (something) by passing through or across it

: to meet and cross at one or more points

: to share some common area


in·ter·sect | \ ˌin-tər-ˈsekt \
intersected; intersecting

Kids Definition of intersect

: to cut or divide by passing through or across : cross One line intersects the other.

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