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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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 The pass-through that leads from the main atrium, designed in 2003, to the new section was previously underused., "The question is key to how the Peabody Essex Museum leadership approached the new space — always with an eye toward not just what they wanted to showcase but how visitors can best engage with the exhibits.," 14 Sep. 2019 As a result of that, a 5,000-seat section of their 46,000-capacity home stadium will be closed when England visit the Bulgarian capital on 14 October in the next set of internationals., "England Players Will Discuss Walking Off the Pitch if Racist Abuse Occurs in Bulgaria," 12 Sep. 2019 In one section, guests can learn how some illusions can fool people, while others can fool machines. Patrick Connolly,, "New Orlando Science Center exhibit explores artificial intelligence, machine learning," 12 Sep. 2019 Twenty-one sections of the upper deck on the stadium’s East side are covered by tarps. Ryan O’halloran, The Denver Post, "Broncos up-down drill: Best and worst performances against the Raiders," 9 Sep. 2019 Several sections of the road were buckled by the waves. CBS News, "Dorian still slamming Canada with hurricane-force winds," 8 Sep. 2019 No new sections of border wall have been built in the Rio Grande Valley during the Trump administration, but funding for 110 miles of it has been approved by Congress. New York Times, "South Texas Resort Includes a Pool, a Golf Course and, Maybe, a Border Wall," 5 Sep. 2019 Also, a section of the carpet in the bedroom had been removed. Carol Robinson |, al, "4 charged in brutal baseball bat beating death of Blount County man found stuffed in barrel," 5 Sep. 2019 Bulldozing for a new section of the wall was spotted in February in the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Silvia Foster-frau,, "Trump administration schedules building of new wall," 31 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 They are sectioned-off, chain-link indoor pens where children who come to the border without adults or who are separated from adults in detention are temporarily housed. Amanda Seitz, Fortune, "Trump’s and Democrats’ Incendiary Week: Fact Checking Claims," 20 July 2019 Every summer, the bulls are let loose on a sectioned-off portion of the town's streets as part of a festival. Julia Fair,, "'Mom's not gonna like this.' Northern Kentucky man gored by bull in Pamplona, Spain, now recovering.," 9 July 2019 At Cutz Lounge the Grooming Shop in Detroit, the owner, Dante Williams, 41, has sectioned off a corner of his 4,000-square-foot business with couches, where adults stop by and gossip or share news. Christine Hauser,, "Barbershops, laundromats helping to turn kids on to the joy of reading," 2 July 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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Statistics for section

Last Updated

27 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for section

The first known use of section was in 1534

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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).


concealed or difficult to comprehend

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