Definition of cross section in English:

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cross section

Pronunciation: /ˈkrɒs ˌsɛkʃ(ə)n/


1A surface or shape exposed by making a straight cut through something, especially at right angles to an axis: the cross section of an octahedron is a square in cross section the sailfish’s body looks like a tapering spear
More example sentences
  • When the straw is straight, the cross section is a perfect circle.
  • In cross section it is a symmetrical structure of three blades protruding from a central, solid shaft.
  • In cross section, crystals have a compressed diamond-shaped outline.
1.1A thin strip of tissue or other material removed by making two straight parallel cuts through it.
Example sentences
  • Partial wood cross sections were removed from each tree with a chainsaw and the location of each sample was then determined and placed on the topographic map.
  • Culture involves a hanging sheet of acrylic of an approximate pine-tree shape, on which are mounted 26 petri dishes, most containing thin cross sections of rolled canvas.
  • My old swimming goggles fit perfectly on the thin cross section of birch.
2A typical or representative sample of a larger group: a cross section of our senior managers
More example sentences
  • Representatives from a wide cross section of the community will be getting round the table with airport chiefs for the third community and stakeholder conference.
  • This new plan is the work of a wide cross section of clinical staff, patients and their representatives as well as health service managers.
  • This entailed a full day of dialogue with representative cross sections of the Canadian population.
3 Physics A quantity having the dimensions of an area which expresses the probability of a given interaction between particles.
Example sentences
  • Beyond the gas chamber was a detector, which allowed them to measure the cross section - the probability for benzene molecules to interact with gas atoms at each velocity.
  • True, we should not expect the biology teacher to teach the fluid dynamics of the circulatory system, or the chemistry teacher to teach the concept of cross sections when introducing nuclear chemistry.
  • The comments did, however, leave open the outside possibility that such an inordinate cross section might be due to some role of the atomic electrons in coupling the x-ray photons strongly to the nucleus.


(cross-section) [with object] Make a cross section of: (as noun cross-sectioning) complex triangular terrain models for contour cross-sectioning
More example sentences
  • Plot trajectories can be cross-sectioned, schematized and illustrated like maps or mazes, and a picture can be worth a thousand words.
  • The table is covered with dismantled scaly things, things sliced and jellied, cross-sectioned things that squirmed the bottom of the sea.
  • The exceptions are the fetuses, but only because they aren't cross-sectioned, just propped up in display cases.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cross sec|tion

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