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

district, nabe, neighborhood, quarter

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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

Still, though, some fans think the Bella was actually hacked and came to her defense in the comments section. Gianluca Russo, Teen Vogue, "Fans Wonder If Bella Thorne's Instagram Was Hacked," 22 Sep. 2018 Ant took to Instagram to wish his son a happy birthday, and Christina responded in the comments section, praising the newly minted 12-year-old and their friendship. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Christina El Moussa and Boyfriend Ant Anstead's Son Have the Sweetest Relationship," 6 Sep. 2018 Meanwhile, people defended Khloe Kardashian in the comments section. Alison Caporimo, Seventeen, "Here's Khloé Kardashian and Tristan Thompson's FULL Relationship Timeline," 26 July 2018 The Street Chorus first appears in a Prefatory Prayers section, singing Latin words to music driven by marching band flourishes. New York Times, "Is ‘Mass’ Leonard Bernstein’s Best Work, or His Worst?," 13 July 2018 That takes you to the Apple Certified Refurbished Products page with eight sections: Mac, iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, iPod, Apple TV, Accessories, and Clearance. Bob Levitus, Houston Chronicle, "Pay less for your next Apple product," 13 July 2018 The comment section on the Facebook post, as expected given the nature of the man’s wardrobe choice, turned into a rather lively forum. Matthew Martinez, star-telegram, "He wore underwear for the break-in — but not in the right place, video shows," 12 July 2018 Other sections of the cave involved walking, wading, crawling and climbing. John Bacon, ajc, "WATCH: Video shows rescued Thai soccer players flashing victory sign from hospital beds," 12 July 2018 But any solution has to benefit all EU member countries, not just heavyweights in the auto section, like Germany. Grace Dobush, Fortune, "The EU Has a New Plan to Head Off a Automobile Trade War With Trump," 4 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

This human riffed on a manhattan and named it a confused human, a dry and malty brew: Jack Daniel’s, Cinzano sweet vermouth, lemonade, cherry syrup and a lemon slice immaculately sectioned by the robot. WSJ, "Robot Restaurants: The Good Versus the Gimmicks," 3 Oct. 2018 However, instead of just one big ponytail sectioned off into puffs with rubber bands, he's divided his hair into several smaller ones, complete with green, red, and yellow elastics. Sharine Taylor, Allure, "For These Dancehall Artists, Hair Is Just as Important as the Music," 27 Sep. 2018 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

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

Statistics for section

Last Updated

8 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on section

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with section

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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 nest or breeding place

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