sec·​tor | \ ˈsek-tər How to pronounce sector (audio) , -ˌtȯr \

Definition of sector

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a geometric figure bounded by two radii and the included arc of a circle
b(1) : a subdivision of a defensive military position
(2) : a portion of a military front or area of operation
c : an area or portion resembling a sector bilingual sector of town— David Kleinberg
d : a sociological, economic, or political subdivision of society cooperation between the public and private sectors— Peter Chapman
2 : a mathematical instrument consisting of two rulers connected at one end by a joint and marked with several scales
3 : a subdivision of a track on a computer disk


sec·​tor | \ ˈsek-tər How to pronounce sector (audio) \
sectored; sectoring\ ˈsek-​t(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce sector (audio) \

Definition of sector (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to divide into or furnish with sectors

Other Words from sector


sectoral \ ˈsek-​t(ə-​)rəl \ adjective

Examples of sector in a Sentence

Noun He was assigned to the northern sector. Data is stored on the disk in 512-byte sectors.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the 1970s, Washington think tanks were coming into being as an institutional sector — the Heritage, Cato and Manhattan institutes were all founded around that time. New York Times, 3 Aug. 2022 The sector that saw the biggest growth in profits (6,368%!!) was energy, while chemical companies had the biggest growth in revenues, at 71%. David Meyer, Fortune, 3 Aug. 2022 The settlement with Robinhood was the first cryptocurrency-sector enforcement action by NYDFS, which given New York’s role as a financial center plays an outsize role in financial regulation and enforcement. Mengqi Sun, WSJ, 2 Aug. 2022 Its prevention should be central to all health legislation in the future and to the work of the health care sector itself, which first should do no harm. David Blumenthal, STAT, 2 Aug. 2022 The number of layoffs in June remained consistent with the low levels of previous months, despite a recent uptick in unemployment claims, and elevated layoffs in the information sector, which includes the tech industry. Lauren Kaori Gurley,, 2 Aug. 2022 Between 2015 and 2019, the country put 2,500 of its public sector workers through two trials. Anna Cooban, CNN, 1 Aug. 2022 The racial reckoning of 2020, which brought calls for social justice and racial equality across just about every sector of society — cultural, academic, political and commercial — also played out in the world of theater. Los Angeles Times, 30 July 2022 The information job sector, which includes tech, added 2,600 jobs in San Francisco and San Mateo counties, despite local tech firms like Lyft, Tesla and Niantic conducting layoffs. Roland Li, San Francisco Chronicle, 29 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The country has lost over 900,000 jobs since the start of the pandemic, with women, young people and the services sector the most damaged. Alessandra Migliaccio, Fortune, 30 Apr. 2021 Hundreds of thousands of students from overseas have made the Australian universities sector one of the nation's biggest earners of foreign currency. Rod Mcguirk, Star Tribune, 7 Oct. 2020 The last few days saw hotels, resorts, and cruise lines sector outperform information technology by enough to break a long-lasting trend. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 11 Sep. 2020 The recent gains led RBC Capital Markets analyst Steven Arthur to downgrade his rating to sector perform from outperform Friday. Fortune, 31 May 2020 The recent gains led RBC Capital Markets analyst Steven Arthur to downgrade his rating to sector perform from outperform Friday. Sandrine Rastello,, 31 May 2020 The professional and business services sector lost 6,900 jobs; the next biggest losses were 1,700 in manufacturing and 1,600 in finance. Mark Williams,, 6 Mar. 2020 Network planning is basically about which sectors an airline will fly in, and at what frequency. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, 6 Feb. 2020 The information and financial activities sectors both lost about 1,000 jobs. Pioneer Press, Twin Cities, 14 Nov. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sector.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of sector


1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1884, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sector


Late Latin, from Latin, cutter, from secare to cut — more at saw

Learn More About sector

Dictionary Entries Near sector



sectored disk

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Statistics for sector

Last Updated

5 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sector.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for sector


sec·​tor | \ ˈsek-tər How to pronounce sector (audio) \

Kids Definition of sector

: a part of an area or of a sphere of activity the industrial sector of the economy


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