from The American HeritageĀ® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A section formed by a plane cutting through an object, usually at right angles to an axis.
  • n. A piece so cut or a graphic representation of such a piece.
  • n. Physics A measure of the probability that an encounter between particles will result in the occurrence of a particular atomic or nuclear reaction. Also called collision cross section.
  • n. Statistics A sample meant to be representative of a whole population.
  • n. Informal A variety; a diversity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A section formed by a plane cutting through an object, usually at right angles to an axis.
  • n. A sample meant to be representative of a whole population.
  • n. The probability that a particular nuclear reaction will take place.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a flat plane cutting through a three-dimensional object, usually at right angles to the longest axis of the object.
  • n. any visual representation of a cross section{1}, showing the internal structure of the object in the plane of the cross section.
  • n. a thin slice of an object made by cutting it transversely.
  • n. a representative sample of a complex group.
  • n. a measure of the probability that a nucleus will interact in a specified way with a bombarding particle, expressed as the effective area that the nucleus presents to the particle; -- called also nuclear cross section.
  • transitive v. to create one or a series of cross sections{3} by cutting (an object) into thin slices.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A section of something made by a plane passed through it at right angles to one of its axes, especially to its longest axis; a piece of some body cut or sliced off in a direction perpendicular to an axis of the body: as, a cross-section of a tree cut out to show the grain; a drawing of the cross-section of a ship.
  • n. The area of a section, of a bar, tube, rod, or other body, taken at right angles to its axis.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a section created by a plane cutting a solid perpendicular to its longest axis
  • n. a sample meant to be representative of a whole population
  • n. (physics) the probability that a particular interaction (as capture or ionization) will take place between particles; measured in barns
  • adj. representing a plane made by cutting across something at right angles to its length


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • A significant measure of the effectiveness of a cross section of treatment programs in general can be found in the 1988 Chemical Abuse/Addiction Treatment Outcome Registry CATOR report.

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  • A survey by Industry Week and Price Waterhouse reported that 69 percent of a cross section of U.S. manufacturing plants have adopted some version of this practice.


  • Christians found for ivory was the making of cylindrical pyxes from a cross section of the elephant tusk; upon the covers, they carved figures of Our Lord, St. Peter, and St. Paul, and on the side the

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  • The popular rebellion-by-inspiration theory gives insufficient consideration to changes that were taking place in the basic structure of American economic and political lifeā€”changes which made certain rebellious actions seem necessary to a cross section of American women and which at the same time prevented society from suppressing the activists.

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  • "So this world-sized cube we're inside of is a cross section of a world-sized tesseract."

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  • The diameters are all rather coarse, suggestive of carpet-type fibers, but on cross section the shapes vary.

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  • Well, Henry Jackson took what I thought was a good cross section of boxes, black boxes, and on that analysis ...

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  • This sample, however, had a light-greenish tint, and the cross section looked like a collage of colorful angular fragments resembling a kaleidoscopic puzzle.

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