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 sectoring (audio) \

Definition of sector (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to divide into or furnish with sectors

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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 That compares with 44% among workers at companies outside the tech sector, the report said. Angus Loten, WSJ, "Job Anxiety Spills Into Tech Sector," 24 June 2020 The oil and gas sector has now underperformed the S&P 500 market index for years. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "Apple is now worth more than the combined value of the oil and gas majors," 19 June 2020 Taken together, the oil and natural-gas sector employs fewer than 3,200 workers in Michigan. Clara Hendrickson, Detroit Free Press, "Fact-check: Biden called for limits on fracking, not a complete ban, as candidate claims," 19 June 2020 The cuts will add to thousands of jobs on the line in the sector in Europe., "Netflix’s Hastings donates $120m to fund Black education efforts," 18 June 2020 Still, those gains come after the state’s lodging sector shed nearly 60% of its jobs and restaurants and bars lost more than half of their jobs, according to the Oregon Employment Department’s April report. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, "Oregon gained back over 22,000 jobs in May, but 14.2% of labor force remained unemployed," 16 June 2020 While retail and travel properties have taken the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, the office building sector has seen a big slowdown, too. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "Dallas-Fort Worth office market rebounds from pandemic," 12 June 2020 American growth overall would be a lot stronger if more firms outside the tech sector were using the latest digital tools. James Pethokoukis, TheWeek, "Maybe the stock market isn't crazy," 10 June 2020 The digital health-care sector has seen an influx of investment as hospitals and drug firms adopt more automated models of patient care that could lower the costs of high-touch treatment and improve outcomes. Harry Brumpton,, "Australian Medtech Firm RxMx Taps KPMG for Investor Hunt," 7 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The recent gains led RBC Capital Markets analyst Steven Arthur to downgrade his rating to sector perform from outperform Friday. Fortune, "Sea-Doo maker faces a coronavirus conundrum: Demand is high, but supply is not," 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,, "Sea-Doo Maker Is in a Bind: Demand is High, Supply is Short," 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,, "Ohio drops 6,300 jobs in January; 12,500 positions lost over the past year," 6 Mar. 2020 Network planning is basically about which sectors an airline will fly in, and at what frequency. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "At India’s largest airline, the most crucial skill is not one that’s taught at IIMs," 6 Feb. 2020 The information and financial activities sectors both lost about 1,000 jobs. Pioneer Press, Twin Cities, "MN adds 7,400 jobs in October; unemployment rate steady at 3.2 percent," 14 Nov. 2019 Jobs in Houston's professional and business services sector increased 4.9 percent year-over-year, while the nation saw an increase of 2.2 percent. Erin Douglas, Houston Chronicle, "Texas cities gained most jobs in nation in July," 27 Aug. 2019 Banks were among the biggest decliners in the U.S., pulling the S&P 500’s financials sector down 3.4%. Michael Wursthorn, WSJ, "Stocks Tumble on Italy’s Political Instability," 29 May 2018 Construction lost 4,400 jobs, and the trade, transportation and utilities sector lost 1,900 jobs. Andrew Khouri,, "California loses jobs in March, though unemployment stays at a record low," 20 Apr. 2018

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for sector

Time Traveler

The first known use of sector was in 1570

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Statistics for sector

Last Updated

29 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sector.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for sector


How to pronounce sector (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sector

: an area of an economy : a part of an economy that includes certain kinds of jobs
: an area for which someone (such as a military commander) is responsible
computers : one of the parts that a computer disk is divided into


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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More from Merriam-Webster on sector

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sector

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sector

Spanish Central: Translation of sector

Nglish: Translation of sector for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sector for Arabic Speakers

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