sec·tion | \ˈsek-shən \

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 \

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

member, part, partition, portion, segment

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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


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.


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

Syndication on the Web means that a section of a Web site is made available for other sites to use. Hartford Courant,, "RSS FEEDS," 5 July 2018 Every section of the parade was liberally applauded., "July 4, 1917: San Diego Honors New Citizens," 4 July 2018 This is the second consecutive summer where a section of the Fox River has been closed to boating for an extended time. Mike Danahey, Elgin Courier-News, "Fox River to reopen for boating from McHenry to Montgomery," 3 July 2018 The players flocked to the corner of the Zenit Arena where the loudest, yellow-clad section of supporters had bounced and chanted all evening and allowed the realization to wash over them. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Sweden’s Secret to World Cup Success: Play More Boring," 3 July 2018 The section of the neighborhood targeted for revitalization is bookended by Detroit Mercy and Marygrove College and is near the reemerging commercial corridor along Livernois Avenue. Joe Guillen, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit's showcase neighborhood project falls a year behind schedule," 3 July 2018 No, a section of Los Angeles where cartoons lived wasn’t paved over to build the freeways — but many other things were. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Chinatown, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and L.A. Confidential explore the shady deals that built the sprawling megalopolis.," 22 June 2018 The last section of interstate to be completed was scheduled for Texas but Williams did not go down without a fight, filing lawsuits to prevent the completion of Interstate 40. Roger Naylor, azcentral, "Arizona road trip: Williams has Route 66, Bearizona and cool summer fun," 15 June 2018 Politics is not what comes up when Ashley Kavanaugh, the town manager for their section of Chevy Chase, organizes their neighborhood’s July Fourth parade, a procession that lasts for all of two blocks and ends with a barbecue. Paul Schwartzman, Washington Post, "The elite world of Brett Kavanaugh," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Black people are four times more likely to be sectioned than whites. The Economist, "An alarming rise in mental-health sectioning in Britain," 19 Apr. 2018 The processing center is sectioned off by pieces of cyclone fence attached in some places with bolts and zip ties. Molly Hennessy-fiske,, "Honduran migrant who was separated from family is found dead in Texas jail in an apparent suicide," 10 June 2018 Initially, thaw entire package for a few hours in the refrigerator, use what’s needed, then section out individual portions in separate freezer bags to refreeze. Jennifer Rude Klett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Table for 1: For solo diners, cooking at home offers many perks," 12 July 2018 The instructions recommend sectioning off your hair and saturating your hair with the spray. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Color Wow Dream Coat for Curls Humidity-Proofs Your Hair," 18 June 2018 After saturating the bob with Leave-on Detangling Milk, she towel-dried it and brushed it thoroughly with a paddle brush to distribute the product, then sectioned it off into a deep side part. Samantha Sasso,, "Yara Shahidi's Bangs Stole The Show At The MTV Movie & TV Awards," 18 June 2018 There’s a play area for kids to splash around, as well as the Lazy River, a sectioned-off portion of the pool shaped like a figure-eight with a slow and easy current. Helena Oliviero, ajc, "Things to do in and around Atlanta on Tuesday, June 5," 5 June 2018 The flat expanse of tall grasses bleached by the sun and the dry winter season was sectioned off by high chain-link fences and barbed wire. Jason Florio, Smithsonian, "The Dangerous Work of Relocating 5,000-Pound Rhinos," 22 May 2018 Everyone’s coiffure was sectioned and plaited and sculpted by Nena Soul Fly to depict ancient Nigerian styles; their baby hairs were laid down as an ode to modern-day black and Latino communities, says Lu. Kate Branch, Vogue, "Musician Kelsey Lu Just Made a Perfume—And She’s Launching It at Her Next Show," 14 May 2018

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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Statistics for section

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for section

The first known use of section was in 1534

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More Definitions for section



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

: to officially send (a mentally ill person) to a psychiatric hospital


sec·tion | \ˈsek-shən \

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 \

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


transitive verb
sectioned; sectioning\-sh(ə-)niŋ \

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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