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 section (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 At the Black Cat restaurant in Silver Lake, manager Benjamin Schwartz struggled to track down affordable picnic tables for the eatery’s outdoor dining section. Andrew Khouri, oregonlive, 12 June 2021 What led up to the shooting in the store’s produce section remains unclear. Alex Deluca,, 11 June 2021 Fallbrook was trying to win its first section title in girls basketball since capturing the 3A Division title in 1982. San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 June 2021 Stella Bugbee will leave New York to become editor of the New York Times’ Styles section. Fortune, 10 June 2021 The rotor blades separated and hit the tail section which then fell off the helicopter. David Harris,, 10 June 2021 The advisories apply to all age and risk groups, said Lori Tate, DNR fisheries management section chief. Laura Schulte, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10 June 2021 Bands play right above the bowling pins, and the 10 bowling lanes become a VIP section during more full-fledged concerts. Jeremy Hallock, Dallas News, 10 June 2021 The sturdy section base keeps the ice crusher in place on smooth, nonporous surfaces. Chris Hachey, BGR, 9 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb However, to section off a few buildings that maintain commitment to the classics while not providing other pressure leaves too many without. Daniel Buck, National Review, 6 June 2021 Earlier that day at Old Ebbitt, that old-school downtown outpost for politicos and tourists, the staff preparing for lunch had rolled away the plexiglass dividers that had been used to section off bar seating. Washington Post, 25 May 2021 Typically the artist uses a pencil to section the egg into a grid, and then draws on a detailed pattern or design. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, 30 Mar. 2021 Since the college has more students, leadership decided to section off groups of students of 50 or fewer in different classrooms. Nienke Onneweer, The Arizona Republic, 6 May 2021 Plexiglass will section off each judge, witness and court reporter. Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times, 12 Apr. 2021 Start by parting your hair at your natural part line, and then section off your hair with clips. Samantha Driscoll, Better Homes & Gardens, 25 Aug. 2020 If your only option is a busy room, consider setting up a divider to section off the space, Goerzen suggests. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 18 Aug. 2020 The hospital has sectioned off part of the cafeteria as a mini store for essentials so that healthcare workers don't have to stop at the store on their way home., 7 May 2020

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

13 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Section.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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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
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


transitive verb
sectioned; sectioning\ -​sh(ə-​)niŋ How to pronounce section (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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