Definition of section in English:


Line breaks: sec|tion
Pronunciation: /ˈsɛkʃ(ə)n


  • 1Any of the more or less distinct parts into which something is or may be divided or from which it is made up: I unscrewed every section of copper pipe, from the roof tank to the hot-water cylinder
    More example sentences
    • The collection is divided into four sections with each section arranged around a particular subject.
    • Part down the middle, then divide hair into sections, front to back.
    • Inside it was divided into two distinct sections.
  • 1.1A relatively distinct part of a book, newspaper, statute, or other document: the New York Times business section this last section of the questionnaire relates solely to training
    More example sentences
    • I mean, the odd thing is that Clinton devoted a large section of the book to his childhood.
    • The book is divided into three main sections covering background, methods, and applications.
    • Perhaps you could include a small section devoted to explaining the 100 most common acronyms.
    subdivision, part, chapter, subsection, division, portion, component, bit, passage, clause, act, scene, episode, instalment
  • 1.2North American A measure of land, equal to one square mile.
    More example sentences
    • Here they talk about acres, but in West Texas we measure land in sections.
    • With the help of other concerned citizens, they eventually succeeded in gaining a permit to graze their flocks on 14 sections of Forest Service land.
  • 1.3chiefly North American A particular district of a town: a residential section of the capital
    More example sentences
    • I decided to walk through the Islamic section of town to Cairo's infamous bazaar and check it out for myself.
    • In large cities, such as Kano or Katsina, Hausa live either in the old sections of town or in newer quarters built for civil servants.
    • In the intervening three months, yet another airplane crashed, this time into a residential section of New York City.
  • 1.4NZ A building plot.
    More example sentences
    • And another project is clearing weeds off the section here, building steps and planting a veggie garden.
    • As post war building produced a demand for more sites, sections shrank even smaller.
  • 2A distinct group within a larger body of people or things: the non-parliamentary section of the party
    More example sentences
    • Last year Swinney, who has faced constant sniping about his leadership credentials from some sections within the party, faced down a challenge by Glasgow activist Bill Wilson.
    • This was the line pursued at the time by the body politic and large sections of the media to justify a knee-jerk reaction and savage state repression.
    • They accused some sections of that body of trying to frustrate the inquiry.
  • 2.1A group of players of a family of instruments within an orchestra: the brass section
    More example sentences
    • The brass section of an orchestra typically consists of trumpets, horns, trombones, and tubas.
    • The only music to be heard was some of the brass section tuning up their instruments.
    • At that time, women in London could only play in the wind sections of the BBC Symphony and the English Chamber Orchestras.
  • 2.2 [in names] A specified military unit: a GHQ Signals Section
    More example sentences
    • In Bosnia, IO staff sections were formed in units below brigade.
    • It is our tank sections and infantry squads that invariably make contact with hostile forces, not companies or battalions.
    • Basson is still working for South Africa in its military's medical section.
  • 2.3A subdivision of an army platoon.
    More example sentences
    • Soldiers will be trained to deploy as individuals, sections or units.
    • Due to the nature of current combat operations in Iraq, our primary mounted maneuver unit is the section.
    • A unit of action may vary from a nine-man infantry section through to a 3500-person brigade.
  • 2.4 Biology A secondary taxonomic category, especially a subgenus.
    More example sentences
    • Each species is classified under a sub-genus, and a section.
    • At the subgeneric level, the classification of Valeriana in subgenera and sections is difficult.
    • Several genera that are at times segregated from Atriplex have been variously treated as subgenera or sections, or simply placed in synonymy with Atriplex.
  • 3 [mass noun] The cutting of a solid by or along a plane.
  • 3.1The shape resulting from cutting a solid along a plane: nails of round section
  • 3.2 [count noun] A representation of the internal structure of something as if it has been cut through vertically or horizontally: a section of face, showing the position of the organs of speech
    More example sentences
    • This technique involves mentally dividing the image in the viewfinder up into a grid of three horizontal and vertical sections.
    • The vector field represents a vertical section through a vortex ring.
  • 3.3 [count noun] Surgery A separation by cutting.
    More example sentences
    • Obviously, if you have to deliver via Caesarian section it will take longer for you to get back on your bike.
    • Once considered unthinkable, vaginal delivery after a previous caesarean section remains a safe option for many women.
    • The mother had an elective cesarean section in order to ensure proper management of the airway during delivery.
  • 3.4 [count noun] Biology A thin slice of plant or animal tissue prepared for microscopic examination.
    More example sentences
    • The animal from which the tissue sections are prepared is important.
    • Immunohistochemical studies were performed using formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections of the cyst wall.
    • Sets of transverse, serial thin sections were prepared to document growth and increase in detail.


[with object] Back to top  
  • 1Divide into sections: she began to section the grapefruit
    More example sentences
    • The only way to tell a dolphin's age for definite is by sectioning a tooth, said Mr Whooley.
    • To prevent copying, DVDs are sectioned into blocks that are each encrypted using a content scrambling system.
    • The common room was a large circular room, with three-quarters of the walls being sectioned into small little box-shaped cubby holes where university students got their usual circulars, mail, etc. etc.
  • 1.1 (section something off) Separate an area from a larger one: parts of the curved balcony had been sectioned off with wrought-iron grilles
    More example sentences
    • These areas have been sectioned off because they are unsafe!
    • Isis could see that each area was sectioned off into little green or brown squares according to the owner's preference.
    • The gymnasium had one of those huge movable walls which they would use to section it off into smaller areas for classes.
  • 1.2 Biology Cut (animal or plant tissue) into thin slices for microscopic examination: the specimens were embedded and serially sectioned
    More example sentences
    • The brain of each rat was sectioned in the coronals plane into 2 mm thickness pieces using a plastic model of the rat brain.
    • The cartilage was sectioned into 2-mm full-thickness slices.
    • The paraffin-embedded specimen was serially sectioned until the full cross-sectional area of the specimen was believed to be exposed.
  • 1.3 Surgery Divide by cutting: it is common veterinary practice to section the nerves to the hoof of a limping horse
    More example sentences
    • Because of their predominantly vertical orientation, the basilar segmental bronchi of the right lower lobe are routinely sectioned transversely on CT.
    • On sectioning the liver, diffuse tan miliary lesions surrounded by dark red hemorrhagic tissue were seen.
    • If these foci are sectioned perfectly, diagnosis is not difficult because the parallel arrangement of the prongs is obvious.
  • 2British Commit (someone) compulsorily to a psychiatric hospital in accordance with a section of a mental health act: should she be sectioned and forced back into hospital?
    More example sentences
    • She was sectioned to a mental hospital in Marrakesh.
    • He was sectioned to Green Lane Hospital in 2002 although he escaped regularly and went home.
    • It is therefore highly unlikely that he will be abstinent from alcohol unless he was sectioned and in a locked environment.



More example sentences
  • The consultant psychiatrist said at that stage he was not sectionable and it was agreed to allow him to go home on leave.
  • Both are fine sectionable boats, the last Olympic wooden fours class from their respective makers.
  • I attended a parenting course to enable me to reestablish boundaries and to undergo counselling since I was almost sectionable myself by that time.


[often in combination]: a square-sectioned iron peg
More example sentences
  • Mix books and objects in sectioned shelves.
  • The sectioned specimens were dried in an oven for four hours at 100°C.
  • Not every one ate the same thing from a sectioned tray.


late Middle English (as a noun): from French section or Latin sectio(n-), from secare 'to cut'. The verb dates from the early 19th century.

More definitions of section

Definition of section in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkələrəˈto͝orə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody