cross section

See synonyms for: cross%20sectioncross-sections on

  1. a section made by a plane cutting anything transversely, especially at right angles to the longest axis.

  2. a piece so cut off.

  1. a photograph, diagram, or other pictorial representation of such a section.

  2. the act of cutting anything across.

  3. a typical selection; a sample showing all characteristic parts, relationships, etc.: a cross section of American opinion.

  4. Surveying. a vertical section of the ground surface taken at right angles to a survey line.

  5. 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.

Origin of cross section

First recorded in 1825–35

Words Nearby cross section

Other definitions for cross-section (2 of 2)

[ kraws-sek-shuhn, kros- ]

  1. Also cross-sec·tion·al. of or relating to a cross section.

verb (used with object)
  1. to make or divide into a cross section.

Origin of cross-section

First recorded in 1875–80 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use cross section in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cross section

cross section

  1. maths a plane surface formed by cutting across a solid, esp perpendicular to its longest axis

  2. a section cut off in this way

  1. the act of cutting anything in this way

  2. a random selection or sample, esp one regarded as representative: a cross section of the public

  3. surveying a vertical section of a line of ground at right angles to a survey line

  4. 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 of cross section

  • 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

Scientific definitions for cross section

cross section

  1. 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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.