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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for section

Synonyms: Noun

district, nabe, neighborhood, quarter

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Other survey data suggest that Britain registered no economic growth in the second quarter of the year (see Britain section). The Economist, "The pound’s slide is about more than Brexit," 20 July 2019 Made of water and CO2, researchers believe some sections of the ice act as a solid state greenhouse, allowing sunlight through and trapping heat underneath. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "This Material May Make Human Habitation on Mars Possible," 18 July 2019 Indeed, Burlingame marched to an unbeaten Peninsula Athletic League Ocean Division title and a Central Coast Section Division IV crown capped by a 38-0 blowout of Carlmont, for the Panthers’ first section crown since 2004. Matt Schwab, The Mercury News, "Bay Area Preps HQ football preview: No. 24 Burlingame," 18 July 2019 There are sections devoted to the rail system, automobiles, archaeology, the Ohio River, the Roebling Bridge, education, art and special exhibits. Charles Infosino,, "Check out the weirdest things you can find at Behringer-Crawford Museum," 18 July 2019 The vast majority of disclosures to congressional committees under section 6103(f) consist of statistical studies, compilations, and other data products . . . Jeff Stein, Washington Post, "Mnuchin appears to be first treasury secretary to intervene in Congress’s request for private tax returns, memo says," 18 July 2019 Renovations to the south section of Cedarburg High School are expected to begin in summer 2020 and to wrap up by December 2020. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "How Cedarburg schools' referendum projects are progressing," 18 July 2019 In commemoration, two 18-foot long by 5-foot high signs declaring the section of freeway between the Harris-Montgomery county line and Texas 242 are to be installed by the end of this year, Visit The Woodlands President Nick Wolda said. Jane Stueckemann, Houston Chronicle, "Segment of I-45 to be named George P. Mitchell Memorial Highway," 18 July 2019 The section of the concourse wrapping around the far side of the west stands still needed to be poured with cement. Kenneth R. Gosselin,, "Hartford Athletic is finally playing soccer at Dillon Stadium, but why are we still waiting for construction to finish?," 18 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 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. New York Times, "Want Kids to Learn the Joy of Reading? Barbershops and Laundromats Can Help," 2 July 2019 Routes for the Bike MS ride can be found in the fundraising events section at Michelle Mullins, Elgin Courier-News, "Elgin News Digest," 14 June 2019 For the cover, Gigi's hair is sectioned off, with some pieces teased into a large updo, and others left to frame her face. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Gigi Hadid Appears on the September "Vogue Brazil" Cover," 29 Aug. 2018 But climate change is a borderless issue, one that cannot be compartmentalized by lines drawn to distinguish state boundaries and section off land parcels for lease sales. Maia Wikler, Teen Vogue, "Activists Protest Bureau of Land Management Leasing That Allow Oil and Gas Drilling on Public Lands," 15 Apr. 2019 Juarez is right there, visible from nearly anywhere in El Paso, including O’Rourke’s street: Concrete canals section off a Rio Grande that is usually little more than a brown puddle. Will Weissert, The Seattle Times, "The Origin Story: A blind date, a border and Beto O’Rourke," 29 Mar. 2019 For Mary Katrantzou’s Fall 2019 collection at London Fashion Week yesterday, the designer sectioned her rainbow-bright lineup into four distinct themes, all centred around nature: earth, air, fire, and water. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Mary Katrantzou Makes the Case for Spunky Clip-In Streaks," 17 Feb. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about section

Statistics for section

Last Updated

21 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for section

The first known use of section was in 1534

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


something desired as essential

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!