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

  • n. One of several components; a piece.
  • n. A subdivision of a written work.
  • n. Law A division of a statute or code.
  • n. A distinct portion of a newspaper: the sports section.
  • n. A distinct area of a town, county, or country: a residential section.
  • n. A land unit equal to one square mile (2.59 square kilometers), 640 acres, or 1/36 of a township.
  • n. The act or process of separating or cutting, especially the surgical cutting or dividing of tissue.
  • n. A thin slice, as of tissue, suitable for microscopic examination.
  • n. A segment of a fruit, especially a citrus fruit.
  • n. Representation of a solid object as it would appear if cut by an intersecting plane, so that the internal structure is displayed.
  • n. Music A group of instruments or voices in the same class considered as a division of a band, orchestra, or choir: the rhythm section; the woodwind section.
  • n. A class or discussion group of students taking the same course: She taught three sections of English composition.
  • n. A portion of railroad track maintained by a single crew.
  • n. An area in a train's sleeping car containing an upper and lower berth.
  • n. An army tactical unit smaller than a platoon and larger than a squad.
  • n. A unit of vessels or aircraft within a division of armed forces.
  • n. One of two or more vehicles, such as a bus or train, given the same route and schedule, often used to carry extra passengers.
  • n. The character (§) used in printing to mark the beginning of a section.
  • n. This character used as the fourth in a series of reference marks for footnotes.
  • transitive v. To separate or divide into parts.
  • transitive v. To cut or divide (tissue) surgically.
  • transitive v. To shade or crosshatch (part of a drawing) to indicate sections.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A cutting; a part cut out from the rest of something.
  • n. A part, piece, subdivision of anything.
  • n. A part of a document.
  • n. An act or instance of cutting.
  • n. A cross-section (image that shows an object as if cut along a plane).
  • n. An incision or the act of making an incision.
  • n. A thin slice of material prepared as a specimen for research.
  • n. A group of 10-15 soldiers lead by a non-commissioned officer and forming part of a platoon.
  • n. A right inverse.
  • n. A piece of residential land usually a quarter of an acre, a plot.
  • v. To cut, divide or separate into pieces.
  • v. To commit, as for mental health reasons. So called after various sections of legal acts regarding mental health.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of cutting, or separation by cutting.
  • n. A part separated from something; a division; a portion; a slice.
  • n. A distinct part or portion of a book or writing; a subdivision of a chapter; the division of a law or other writing; a paragraph; an article; hence, the character §, often used to denote such a division.
  • n. A distinct part of a country or people, community, class, or the like; a part of a territory separated by geographical lines, or of a people considered as distinct.
  • n. One of the portions, of one square mile each, into which the public lands of the United States are divided; one thirty-sixth part of a township. These sections are subdivided into quarter sections for sale under the homestead and preëmption laws.
  • n. The figure made up of all the points common to a superficies and a solid which meet, or to two superficies which meet, or to two lines which meet. In the first case the section is a superficies, in the second a line, and in the third a point.
  • n. A division of a genus; a group of species separated by some distinction from others of the same genus; -- often indicated by the sign §.
  • n. A part of a musical period, composed of one or more phrases. See Phrase.
  • n. The description or representation of anything as it would appear if cut through by any intersecting plane; depiction of what is beyond a plane passing through, or supposed to pass through, an object, as a building, a machine, a succession of strata; profile.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make a section of; divide into sections, as a ship; cut or reduce to the degree of thinness required for study with the microscope.
  • To cut sections; divide into sections.
  • n. The act of cutting or dividing; separation by cutting: as, the section of one plane by another.
  • n. A part cut or separated, or regarded as separated, from the rest; a division; a portion.
  • n. One of the squares, each containing 640 acres, into which the public lands of the United States are divided; the thirty-sixth part of a township.
  • n. A certain proportion of a battalion or company told off for military movements and evolutions.
  • n. In mech., any part of a machine that can be readily detached from the other parts, as one of the knives of a mower.
  • n. A division in a sleeping-car, including two seats facing each other, and designed to be made into two sleeping-berths. A double section takes in four seats, two on each side of the car.
  • n. In bookbinding, the leaves of an intended book that are folded together to make one gathering and to prepare them for sewing.
  • n. In printing, that part of a printed sheet of book-work which has to be cut off from the full sheet and separately folded and sewed. On paper of ordinary thickness, the section is usually of eight leaves or sixteen pages; on thick paper, the section is often of four leaves or eight pages.
  • n. The curve of intersection of two surfaces.
  • n. A representation of an object as it would appear if cut by any intersecting plane, showing the internal structure; a diagram or picture showing what would appear were a part cut off by a plane supposed to pass through an object, as a building, a machine, a biological structure, or a succession of strata.
  • n. A thin slice of an organic or inorganic substance cut off, as for microscopic examination.
  • n. In zoology, a classificatory group of no fixed grade or taxonomic rank; a division, series, or group of animals: used, like group, differently by different authors.
  • n. In botany, a group of species subordinate to a genus: nearly the same as subgenus (which see).
  • n. In fortification, the outline of a cut made at any angle to the principal lines other than a right angle.
  • n. The sign §, used either as a mark of reference to a foot-note, or , prefixed to consecutive numerals, to indicate divisions of subdivisions of a book.
  • n. = Syn.2. Division, Piece, etc. See part, n.
  • n.
  • n. In petrography, in the quantitative classification of igneous rocks (see rock), a subdivision of any of the taxonomic divisions from class to subgrad. It is used wherever it is considered necessary to introduce a further subdivision.
  • n. In geology, a group of several related stages, usually of the same kind of sedimentary rock; a series or formation.
  • n. In function-theory, a line in the plane of the variable of a function upon crossing which the function abruptly changes its value.

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

  • n. a segment of a citrus fruit
  • n. a small army unit usually having a special function
  • n. a small class of students who are part of a larger course but are taught separately
  • v. divide into segments
  • n. one of several parts or pieces that fit with others to constitute a whole object
  • n. one of the portions into which something is regarded as divided and which together constitute a whole
  • n. a division of an orchestra containing all instruments of the same class
  • n. a small team of policemen working as part of a police platoon
  • n. a land unit equal to 1 square mile
  • n. the cutting of or into body tissues or organs (especially by a surgeon as part of an operation)
  • n. (geometry) the area created by a plane cutting through a solid
  • n. a distinct region or subdivision of a territorial or political area or community or group of people
  • n. a self-contained part of a larger composition (written or musical)
  • n. a very thin slice (of tissue or mineral or other substance) for examination under a microscope
  • n. a specialized division of a large organization


Middle English seccioun, from Old French, from Latin sectiō, sectiōn-, from sectus, past participle of secāre, to cut.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French, from Latin sectio ("cutting, cutting off, excision, amputation of diseased parts of the body, etc."), from sectus, past participle of secare ("to cut"). (Wiktionary)



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