section

1 of 2

noun

sec·​tion ˈsek-shən How to pronounce section (audio)
1
a
: the action or an instance of cutting or separating by cutting
b
: a part set off by or as if by cutting
2
: a distinct part or portion of something written (such as a chapter, law, or newspaper)
3
a
: the profile of something as it would appear if cut through by an intersecting plane
b
: the plane figure resulting from the cutting of a solid by a plane
4
: a natural subdivision of a taxonomic group
5
: a character § used as a mark for the beginning of a section and as a reference mark
6
: a piece of land one square mile in area forming especially one of the 36 subdivisions of a township
7
: a distinct part of a territorial or political area, community, or group of people
the historic section of the city
8
a
: a part that may be, is, or is viewed as separated
a board cut into sections
the northern section of the route
b
: one segment of a fruit : carpel
9
: a basic military unit usually having a special function
10
: a very thin slice (as of tissue) suitable for microscopic examination
11
a
: one of the classes formed by dividing the students taking a course
b
: one of the discussion groups into which a conference or organization is divided
12
a
: a part of a permanent railroad way under the care of a particular crew
b
: one of two or more vehicles or trains which run on the same schedule
13
: one of several component parts that may be assembled or reassembled
a bookcase in sections
14
: a division of an orchestra composed of one class of instruments
the string section
15

section

2 of 2

verb

sectioned; sectioning ˈsek-sh(ə-)niŋ How to pronounce section (audio)

transitive verb

1
: to cut or separate into sections
section an orange
2
: to represent in sections

intransitive verb

: to become cut or separated into parts
Choose the Right Synonym for section

part, portion, piece, member, division, section, segment, fragment mean something less than the whole.

part is a general term appropriate when indefiniteness is required.

they ran only part of the way

portion implies an assigned or allotted part.

cut the pie into six portions

piece applies to a separate or detached part of a whole.

a puzzle with 500 pieces

member suggests one of the functional units composing a body.

a structural member

division applies to a large or diversified part.

the manufacturing division of the company

section applies to a relatively small or uniform part.

the entertainment section of the newspaper

segment applies to a part separated or marked out by or as if by natural lines of cleavage.

the retired segment of the population

fragment applies to a part produced by or as if by breaking off.

only a fragment of the play still exists

Example Sentences

Noun the upper section of the bridge This section of the road is closed. the frozen food section in the supermarket the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn Do you want to sit in the nonsmoking section? The dictionary includes a section on signs and symbols. Section 1123 of the bankruptcy code. ads that target one section of the population The siding comes in five-foot sections. Verb Peel and section the orange. Section the chicken and marinate the parts. She was sectioned by the judge. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
One section became their residence; another, Kiefer’s studio, with the second story removed to reveal 40-foot-high ceilings. Jay Cheshes, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 Dec. 2022 More than one-third of the trail has been built in sections over the years, including, in recent years, the section in Calumet Park, which runs along a service road. Sarah Freishtat, Chicago Tribune, 14 Nov. 2022 The Times’ Opinion section asked civic leaders for ideas about how to make L.A. government better able to solve problems. Ada Tsengassistant Editor, Los Angeles Times, 14 Nov. 2022 The Jaguars won their second straight section title, last year’s coming in DII. Don Norcross, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Nov. 2022 That rooting section will be down one Saturday as Skye, a member of the Fountain Hills High School cross country team, will be competing in the state championships. Todd Kelly, The Arizona Republic, 12 Nov. 2022 Both are on Vol. 1; the 19th-century section of Vol. Allan Kozinn, WSJ, 12 Nov. 2022 This offered a few advantages, said Dr. Katy Rezvani, an oncologist and section chief of cell therapy at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, who was not involved in the research. Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY, 11 Nov. 2022 Images on Google Maps show the divided highway does not appear to have sidewalks or streetlights along that section and at times has no shoulder. Giacomo Bologna, Baltimore Sun, 11 Nov. 2022
Verb
Use it to section off an area or to create a makeshift dressing room in your bedroom. Tierney Mcafee, Country Living, 27 July 2022 Each night, strictly section off your time for the next day to focus on specific tasks. Brian Cristiano, Forbes, 5 May 2022 For a taxpayer excluding $10 million of capital gain at the 100% exclusion percentage, the tax savings can approach $3 million, assuming the seller’s home state conforms to section 1202. Daniel Mayo, Forbes, 8 Nov. 2021 Walls have been inserted to section off two bedrooms, but sliding doors mean that the space can be opened out or closed off. Ruth Bloomfield, WSJ, 22 Dec. 2021 Just section off several braids and wrap them into bantu knots. Jasmine Washington, Seventeen, 24 Sep. 2021 Tip: To create Dutch or French braid pigtails, a.k.a. a double braid, create a center part and section off one side of hair before focusing the braiding technique on the other. Marielle Marlys, Good Housekeeping, 20 Sep. 2021 Pompano Beach City Hall scrambled to get cones for the volunteers to section off the area quickly from human intruders who could wreak havoc. Lisa J. Huriash, sun-sentinel.com, 5 July 2021 Outdoor rugs look great on patios or even to section off an outdoor living space in a backyard with a dining table or a sofa and chairs. Amanda Lauren, Forbes, 14 June 2021 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Latin section-, sectio, from secare to cut — more at saw

First Known Use

Noun

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1819, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of section was in 1534

Dictionary Entries Near section

Cite this Entry

“Section.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/section. Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

section 1 of 2

noun

sec·​tion ˈsek-shən How to pronounce section (audio)
1
: a part cut off or separated
a section of an orange
2
: a part of a written work
the sports section of the newspaper
3
: the appearance that a thing has or would have if cut straight through
a drawing of a ship in section
4
: a part of an area, community, or group of people
the business section of town
5
: one of several parts (as of a bookcase) that may be assembled or reassembled
6
: a part of an orchestra composed of one class of instruments
the brass section

section

2 of 2

verb

sectioned; sectioning -sh(ə-)niŋ How to pronounce section (audio)
1
: to cut or separate into or become cut or separated into parts or sections
2
: to represent in sections (as by a drawing)

Medical Definition

section 1 of 2

noun

sec·​tion ˈsek-shən How to pronounce section (audio)
1
: the action or an instance of cutting or separating by cutting
especially : the action of dividing (as tissues) surgically
nerve section
abdominal section
see cesarean section
2
: a natural subdivision of a taxonomic group
3
: a very thin slice (as of tissue) suitable for microscopic examination

section

2 of 2

transitive verb

sectioned; sectioning -sh(ə-)niŋ How to pronounce section (audio)
1
: to divide (a body part or organ) surgically
section a nerve
2
: to cut (fixed tissue) into thin slices for microscopic examination

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