sec·​tion | \ ˈsek-shən How to pronounce section (audio) \

Definition of section

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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)
3a : 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
8a : 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
11a : 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
12a : 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


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

Definition of section (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Synonyms for section

Synonyms: Noun

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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

Examples of section in a Sentence

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Snow totals were disparate across the state, with almost 6 inches in the Staffordville section of Stafford near the Massachusetts line on Monday but only 1.5 inches in Andover, some 26 miles away. Zach Murdock,, "Storm dumps more snow overnight, blanketing Hartford area, many roads covered Tuesday morning," 3 Dec. 2019 He was arrested Monday morning in the Boca Grande section of Colombia, the statement said., "Globe’s reporting on the shooting of Ortiz.," 3 Dec. 2019 Another shooting took place hours later Hours later the shooting on Canal Street, two people were killed and two wounded in a shooting in another section of the city. John Bacon, USA TODAY, "'It was chaos': 10 wounded, no arrests made after New Orleans shooting rampage," 2 Dec. 2019 All games will be featured in the Prime Video section. Chris Morris, Fortune, "How to Watch Week 13 NFL Games Live Online for Free—Without Cable," 1 Dec. 2019 The San Antonio native knows from experience how to perform for that fan in the nosebleed section of the world’s biggest stadiums. Krista Torralva,, "San Antonio woman, a singer and dancer with Taylor Swift, gives back to community’s performing arts," 30 Nov. 2019 What’s unusual is that the premiere was held at a neighborhood theater instead of a big, glamorous one — specifically the K-B MacArthur Theater in the Palisades section of Washington. John Kelly, Washington Post, "The first ‘Star Trek’ film took off from an unlikely launchpad: Washington," 30 Nov. 2019 Shop the best Alaska crafts and gifts at the Holiday Craft Show at the Dimond Center — in the new section of the mall, on the west end — admission is free. Anchorage Daily News, "2019 Holiday Fairs and Bazaars," 27 Nov. 2019 Hall was charged in the 1993 killing of a mother who was stuck by a bullet while Hall and another teen were involved in a gun battle in the Brownsville section of New York. NBC News, "PBS chronicles 12 inmates who value education in 'College Behind Bars'," 25 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Here are our picks for Saturday’s section semifinal games. CLASS 5A Hastings (4-5) at Apple Valley (4-4), 7 p.m. Apple Valley blitzed Hastings 45-7 just 10 days ago. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, "High school football: Section semifinal predictions," 25 Oct. 2019 With that being said though, there were also plenty of optimistic fans in her comments section predicting that the host would be returning after Labor Day weekend. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Today' Show Fans Are Worried Hoda Kotb Isn’t Coming Back After Seeing Her Latest Instagram," 19 Aug. 2019 Countries earn a lot of media buzz for announcing bold plans to section off thousands of square miles of ocean for protection. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "Less than 3 percent of the ocean is 'highly protected'," 25 Sep. 2019 The worst call it Galactlitcos, and these tasteless few are swiftly sectioned., "Sliding Doors: Predicting the Rest of the Season Under Mourinho & Allegri if Zidane Is Sacked," 23 Oct. 2019 In the aftermath, people noticed that Soto’s hit landed directly on a border of Nationals Park’s sectioned grass field. Bruce Jenkins,, "The Giants and the Nationals: A bad-hop connection," 17 Oct. 2019 When the folks at Harlem Irving Plaza began planning for the construction of several new storefronts in the shopping center, the idea of a 310-square-foot gray wall sectioning off the construction site just wasn’t going to do. Taylor Hartz,, "Harlem Irving Plaza installs interactive art wall during redevelopment," 30 July 2019 Ciara’s sleek sectioned off ‘do, was styled by Ceasar DeLeon Ramirez, who says the look was inspired by 90s glam. Jennifer Ford, Essence, "Ciara’s Hairstylist Says This Beauty Splurge Will Give You The Sleekest Hair Of Your Dreams," 9 Sep. 2019 Fischer did not allow the final not-Mozart sections their perfunctory function. Los Angeles Times, "Mozart’s Requiem at the Hollywood Bowl takes on special relevance in tragic times," 7 Aug. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of section


1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1819, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for section


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

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Learn More about section

Time Traveler for section

Time Traveler

The first known use of section was in 1534

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Statistics for section

Last Updated

8 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Section.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 12 December 2019.

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More Definitions for section


How to pronounce section (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of section

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: one of the parts that form something
: a particular area that is part of a larger place
: a part of a newspaper, play, book, etc.



English Language Learners Definition of section (Entry 2 of 2)

: to divide (something) into parts
British : to officially send (a mentally ill person) to a psychiatric hospital


sec·​tion | \ ˈsek-shən How to pronounce section (audio) \

Kids Definition of section

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a division of a thing or place A section of the fence broke.
2 : a part cut off or separated a section of an orange
3 : a part of a written work the sports section of a newspaper


sectioned; sectioning

Kids Definition of section (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cut into parts


sec·​tion | \ ˈsek-shən How to pronounce section (audio) \

Medical Definition of section

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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
sectioned; sectioning\ -​sh(ə-​)niŋ How to pronounce sectioning (audio) \

Medical Definition of section (Entry 2 of 2)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on section

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for section

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with section

Spanish Central: Translation of section

Nglish: Translation of section for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of section for Arabic Speakers

Comments on section

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


a period of high artistic development

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