Try Our Apps


What does the eggplant emoji really mean?


[kraws-sek-shuh n, kros-] /ˈkrɔsˈsɛk ʃən, ˈkrɒs-/
Also, cross-sectional. of or relating to a cross section.
verb (used with object)
to make or divide into a cross section.
Origin of cross-section
First recorded in 1875-80

cross section

a section made by a plane cutting anything transversely, especially at right angles to the longest axis.
a piece so cut off.
a photograph, diagram, or other pictorial representation of such a section.
the act of cutting anything across.
a typical selection; a sample showing all characteristic parts, relationships, etc.:
a cross section of American opinion.
Surveying. a vertical section of the ground surface taken at right angles to a survey line.
Also called nuclear cross section. Physics. a quantity expressing the effective area that a given nucleus presents as a target to a bombarding particle, giving a measure of the probability that the particle will induce a reaction.
First recorded in 1825-35 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for cross-section
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I saw 'em fur years, with a big cuttin' out to show the cross-section.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • Note the shape of the cross-section of the hull at the different sections.

    Boys' Book of Model Boats Raymond Francis Yates
  • A cross-section diagram from the outer ear to the lobes of the brain.

    A Handbook of Health

    Woods Hutchinson
  • A' is the edge view, B' is the side view and C' is a cross-section.

    Handwork in Wood

    William Noyes
  • Figure 154 shows a sketch of the cross-section of the floor and girders.

    Concrete Construction Halbert P. Gillette
  • Figure 131 is a cross-section of the tunnel showing the lining.

    Concrete Construction Halbert P. Gillette
British Dictionary definitions for cross-section

cross section

(maths) a plane surface formed by cutting across a solid, esp perpendicular to its longest axis
a section cut off in this way
the act of cutting anything in this way
a random selection or sample, esp one regarded as representative: a cross section of the public
(surveying) a vertical section of a line of ground at right angles to a survey line
(physics) a measure of the probability that a collision process will result in a particular reaction. It is expressed by the effective area that one participant presents as a target for the other
Derived Forms
cross-sectional, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for cross-section

also cross section, 1748, originally in engineering sketches, from cross (adj.) + section (n.). Figurative sense of "representative sample" is from 1903.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
cross-section in Science
cross section  
In particle physics, an expression of the probability of the occurrence of an event, typically the scattering of subatomic particles, over a given area.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for cross-section

Word Value for cross

Scrabble Words With Friends