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 This section of one of the ancient world's great engineering feats also watered an extensive civilization that lasted more than 1,000 years. Debra Utacia Krol, The Arizona Republic, "Archaeologic finds in Mesa, Tempe connect the history of O'odham peoples' history to present day," 6 Mar. 2021 The clusters of blooms, which are a creamy ivory color all year, become pink on one section of this lovely large shrub rose. Rita Perwich, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Strange blooms, changing colors keep rose gardens full of surprises," 6 Mar. 2021 There will be reminders, of course -- the section of Huron Avenue renamed Michael Stanley Way in 2019, for one. Gary Graff, cleveland, "Michael Stanley, Cleveland rock legend and noted local radio and TV personality, dead at 72," 6 Mar. 2021 Great Parks of Hamilton County says flooding has prompted it to cancel plans to hold a groundbreaking ceremony Monday for the last section of the Little Miami Scenic Trail. Jeanne Houck, The Enquirer, "Flooding delays groundbreaking for Beechmont Bridge Connector in Anderson Township," 5 Mar. 2021 The reality is the objective section of your résumé is likely causing employers to skip over your application. Yec, Forbes, "Three Tips For Creating An Irresistible Job Résumé," 5 Mar. 2021 The tunnel and the section of trail east of it between Bethesda and downtown Silver Spring have been closed since Purple Line construction started in 2017. Washington Post, "Montgomery asks state if Purple Line can be single-tracked in Bethesda station," 3 Mar. 2021 But the letter disavowed the Trump administration’s position that the relevant section of the Voting Rights Act should not be widely used to keep states from enacting more restrictive voting procedures. Adam Liptak, New York Times, "Supreme Court Seems Ready to Sustain Arizona Voting Limits," 2 Mar. 2021 Today, Caltrans will begin repairing the section of Scenic Highway 1 near Big Sur that broke off into the ocean after a rainstorm in January. Anna Buchmann, San Francisco Chronicle, "Bay Briefing: A California exodus? Not so much, data shows," 1 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Start by parting your hair at your natural part line, and then section off your hair with clips. Samantha Driscoll, Better Homes & Gardens, "How to Create Loose Waves with a Styling Wand," 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, "How to Create a Homeschool Room in Any Space So Your Child Can Ace Remote Learning," 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., "A Week In Philadelphia, PA, On A $91,000 Salary," 7 May 2020 In addition to desk arrangements, designers and public health researchers will have to consider all the spaces people move through in an office—both open and sectioned off. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "Goodbye to open office spaces? How experts are rethinking the workplace.," 30 Apr. 2020 Kasaris who sectioned off the facility into smaller storage units to sublease it, needs to take down the partitions and return the property to real estate landlords, Harrigan Weidenmuller Co., by the end of April. Shwanika Narayan,, "Small businesses in SF’s Bayview suffer as storage facility relocates after rent hike," 31 Mar. 2020 According to The Psychologist, the British Psychological Society's magazine, Princess Alice was sectioned by her own family after being diagnosed with schizophrenia. Toyin Owoseje, CNN, "What you need to know about Princess Alice of Battenberg, Prince Philip's tragic, heroic mother," 18 Nov. 2019 MotorCity Casino is constructing temporary walls to section off various areas of the casino floor to limit the number of people gathering, according to a statement. Omar Abdel-baqui, Detroit Free Press, "How Detroit's casinos are dealing with coronavirus, Gov. Whitmer's executive order," 14 Mar. 2020 Crews dismantled the white fences that sectioned off the rings where champions were to be crowned. Jonathan Bullington, The Courier-Journal, "Coronavirus concerns bring early end to Louisville dog show: 'This wipes me out'," 14 Mar. 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

9 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Section.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Mar. 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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