[ sek-shuhn ]
See synonyms for: sectionsectionedsectioningsections on

  1. a part that is cut off or separated.

  2. a distinct part or subdivision of anything, as an object, country, community, class, or the like: the members' section of a golf course;the left section of a drawer.

  1. a distinct part or subdivision of a writing, as of a newspaper, legal code, chapter, etc.: the financial section of a daily paper;section 2 of the bylaws.

  2. one of a number of parts that can be fitted together to make a whole: sections of a fishing rod.

  3. (in most of the United States west of Ohio) one of the 36 numbered subdivisions, each one square mile (2.59 sq. km or 640 acres), of a township.

  4. an act or instance of cutting; separation by cutting.

  5. Surgery.

    • the making of an incision.

    • an incision.

  6. a thin slice of a tissue, mineral, or the like, as for microscopic examination.

  7. a representation of an object as it would appear if cut by a plane, showing its internal structure.

  8. Military.

    • a small unit consisting of two or more squads.

    • Also called staff section . any of the subdivisions of a staff.

    • a small tactical division in naval and air units.

  9. Railroads.

    • a division of a sleeping car containing both an upper and a lower berth.

    • a length of trackage, roadbed, signal equipment, etc., maintained by one crew.

  10. any of two or more trains, buses, or the like, running on the same route and schedule at the same time, one right behind the other, and considered as one unit, as when a second is necessary to accommodate more passengers than the first can carry: On holidays the New York to Boston train runs in three sections.

  11. a segment of a naturally segmented fruit, as of an orange or grapefruit.

  12. a division of an orchestra or band containing all the instruments of one class: a rhythm section;the string section.

  13. Bookbinding. signature (def. 8).

  14. Also called section mark . a mark used to indicate a subdivision of a book, chapter, or the like, or as a mark of reference to a footnote.

  15. Theater. one of a series of circuits for controlling certain lights, as footlights.

verb (used with object)
  1. to cut or divide into sections.

  2. to cut through so as to present a section.

  1. Surgery. to make an incision.

Origin of section

First recorded in 1550–60; from Latin sectiōn- (stem of sectiō ) “a cutting,” equivalent to sect(us) (past participle of secāre “to cut”; see saw1) + -iōn- -ion

synonym study For section

1. See part.

Other words for section

Other words from section

  • half-section, noun
  • mul·ti·sec·tion, adjective
  • un·sec·tioned, adjective

Words Nearby section Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use section in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for section


/ (ˈsɛkʃən) /

  1. a part cut off or separated from the main body of something

  2. a part or subdivision of a piece of writing, book, etc: the sports section of the newspaper

  1. one of several component parts

  2. a distinct part or subdivision of a country, community, etc

  3. US and Canadian an area one mile square (640 acres) in a public survey, esp in the western parts of the US and Canada

  4. NZ a plot of land for building on, esp in a suburban area

  5. the section of a railway track that is maintained by a single crew or is controlled by a particular signal box

  6. the act or process of cutting or separating by cutting

  7. a representation of a portion of a building or object exposed when cut by an imaginary vertical plane so as to show its construction and interior

  8. geometry

    • a plane surface formed by cutting through a solid

    • the shape or area of such a plane surface: Compare cross section (def. 1)

  9. surgery any procedure involving the cutting or division of an organ, structure, or part, such as a Caesarian section

  10. a thin slice of biological tissue, mineral, etc, prepared for examination by a microscope

  11. a segment of an orange or other citrus fruit

  12. a small military formation, typically comprising two or more squads or aircraft

  13. Australian and NZ a fare stage on a bus, tram, etc

  14. music

    • an extended division of a composition or movement that forms a coherent part of the structure: the development section

    • a division in an orchestra, band, etc, containing instruments belonging to the same class: the brass section

  15. Also called: signature, gathering, gather, quire a folded printing sheet or sheets ready for gathering and binding

  1. to cut or divide into sections

  2. to cut through so as to reveal a section

  1. (in drawing, esp mechanical drawing) to shade so as to indicate sections

  2. surgery to cut or divide (an organ, structure, or part)

  3. British social welfare to have (a mentally disturbed person) confined in a mental hospital under an appropriate section of the mental health legislation

Origin of section

C16: from Latin sectiō, from secāre to cut

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