Definition of section in English:



  • 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’
    • ‘The room has three separate sections with different temperatures.’
    • ‘Inside it was divided into two distinct sections.’
    • ‘Where there is a non-smoking pub there should also be one that is smoking (or separated sections in the same pub.)’
    • ‘The descriptions of the varied habits of thomsonite presented below are divided into two sections based on cavity size.’
    • ‘It was basically a giant wedge divided into three sections front to back.’
    • ‘Use the crimping plates on small sections of the separated pieces down the length of your hair.’
    • ‘Separate sections have been designed for younger children and toddlers.’
    • ‘They say that the buildings and structures enhance the look of the gardens and help to break them up into separate sections.’
    • ‘The menu is divided into two distinct sections but you can pick and choose accordingly.’
    • ‘There were arches in the room and some audience members were sitting in separate sections.’
    • ‘A team of 12 engineers and contractors spent six weeks using heavy cutting gear to separate the two sections.’
    • ‘If anything the park should be bigger, with separate novice and expert sections, seating for parents, toilets and a burger bar.’
    • ‘After lifting and dividing, replant sections from outside the clump and discard the old center.’
    • ‘This tent was separated into two sections by a heavy partition.’
    • ‘After its eight-bar introduction, the movement divides into three distinct sections plus a coda.’
    • ‘The collection is divided into four sections with each section arranged around a particular subject.’
    • ‘The film is divided into three distinct sections.’
    • ‘This exhibition is divided into two sections, the first section involves 16 participants tutored by Bridget O'Hara.’
    • ‘The supply network to Johannesburg consumers is to be divided into 40 sections, with one section being converted at a time.’
    • ‘Part down the middle, then divide hair into sections, front to back.’
    segment, part, component, division, piece, portion, length, element, module, unit, constituent, bit, slice, fraction, fragment
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    1. 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’
      • ‘Divided into five distinct sections, each portion emphasises different aspects of Shingon Buddhism.’
      • ‘The book's three sections cover ambiguity in three areas: news, measurement, and explanation.’
      • ‘Now, Justice Sully assumed that section 11A applied, did he not?’
      • ‘And I don't separate sections of posts with rows of asterisks, either.’
      • ‘Perhaps you could include a small section devoted to explaining the 100 most common acronyms.’
      • ‘The book is divided into three main sections covering background, methods, and applications.’
      • ‘It includes a full section devoted to the years 1937-1945.’
      • ‘But Review remains a separate section and it's all the better for it.’
      • ‘She had taken all reasonable steps to take and act on advice as required by section 14A.’
      • ‘But the last section entitled " Balzac the observer " has universal relevance.’
      • ‘A separate section is devoted to the various types of fishing nets used by fishermen communities in the south.’
      • ‘Well, that must be right because those two sections apply in civil cases.’
      • ‘Timetables of express and passenger trains of all the four railway zones have been provided in separate sections.’
      • ‘It is divided into six sections, with each section containing six chapters, for a total of 36 chapters.’
      • ‘You can click on separate sections for news and image searches - a fairly standard feature these days.’
      • ‘The profile information is presented individually town-by-town with a separate section devoted to our rural areas.’
      • ‘His report mentioned one section which dealt with the historical evolution of the village.’
      • ‘I mean, the odd thing is that Clinton devoted a large section of the book to his childhood.’
      • ‘Food Safety is separated into sections in the report.’
      • ‘The section titled Structural Integrity addresses the structural integrity of the computational approach.’
      • ‘Like Stryk, he divided the book into sections and did not arrange the poems specifically by previous book titles.’
      subdivision, part, chapter, subsection, division, portion, component, bit, passage, clause, act, scene, episode, instalment
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    2. 1.2North American A measure of land, equal to one square mile.
      • ‘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.’
    3. 1.3North American A particular district of a town.
      ‘a residential section of the capital’
      • ‘When the vehicle passes through a Brazilian section of town, the text shifts to Portuguese.’
      • ‘We also learned that the Bohemian section of town was where young urbanites came to feel cool.’
      • ‘I decided to walk through the Islamic section of town to Cairo's infamous bazaar and check it out for myself.’
      • ‘They rented a home by the Tar River, right between the black and white sections of town.’
      • ‘In the intervening three months, yet another airplane crashed, this time into a residential section of New York City.’
      • ‘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.’
      district, quarter, part, zone, precinct, borough, locality, neighbourhood, side
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    4. 1.4NZ A building plot.
      • ‘As post war building produced a demand for more sites, sections shrank even smaller.’
      • ‘And another project is clearing weeds off the section here, building steps and planting a veggie garden.’
      plot, piece, patch, tract, area, allotment
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  • 2A distinct group within a larger body of people or things.

    ‘the non-parliamentary section of the party’
    • ‘They accused some sections of that body of trying to frustrate the inquiry.’
    • ‘Trimble, who said he felt euphoric after the result, vowed to try to persuade all sections of the party to support him.’
    • ‘No section of society should be deprived of an education to the highest level.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Within sections of the armed forces too, a particular interpretation of religion was institutionalised.’
    • ‘The professional section of the bourgeoisie gradually lost its former autonomy and social distinction.’
    • ‘The inmates are kept together in a dormitory kind of set up with separate sections for men and women.’
    • ‘Support for vouchers is growing within sections of the Democratic Party.’
    • ‘Cruise has just launched some new jewellery sections within its stores, and there are some really interesting individual pieces.’
    • ‘This is much more about tensions within different sections of communities.’
    • ‘In the children's section of department stores and in banks there are often toys to be found.’
    • ‘With that Steve walked over to the men's section of the store.’
    • ‘There are sections within the government that are putting new and difficult demands for the GAM to fulfill.’
    • ‘There exists within sections of the white electorate a deep cynicism towards the traditional political parties.’
    • ‘Tickets for a match must be sold in a way so that fans of rival teams occupy separate sections of a stadium.’
    • ‘We still represent a very large section of the population.’
    • ‘The government has already alienated a large section of the population through existing anti-terror legislation.’
    • ‘The ecumenism was typical of the girl and of the city, or at least of certain sections within it.’
    • ‘We recognize there is goodwill within certain sections of the government at a state level to tackle this problem.’
    • ‘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.’
    department, part, division, branch, sector, wing, compartment
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    1. 2.1A group of players of a family of instruments within an orchestra.
      ‘the brass section’
      • ‘The brass section of an orchestra typically consists of trumpets, horns, trombones, and tubas.’
      • ‘The cabaret was provided by the brass consort section of Shipston Town Band.’
      • ‘Orchestral sections were moved from one position to another in a search for perfect sound relationships.’
      • ‘A platform is rigged toward the back of the stage rising over the winds and brass sections for the vocalists.’
      • ‘It features dialogues between piano and individual orchestra sections.’
      • ‘The only music to be heard was some of the brass section tuning up their instruments.’
      • ‘The body language of the orchestral string section was a bit of a give away.’
      • ‘My father believed there would be more openings for a violin player in an orchestra because the string section was bigger than any other.’
      • ‘At that time, women in London could only play in the wind sections of the BBC Symphony and the English Chamber Orchestras.’
      • ‘It is as if the string section of the orchestra suddenly decided to play its own music, disregarding everyone else.’
      • ‘He often augmented the reed or brass sections ' ensemble choruses.’
      • ‘Today we find women in brass, percussion and woodwind sections, as well as the safe-havens of strings and harpdom.’
      • ‘The brass quintet is a fun and whacky group made up of members of the Bournemouth Symphonic Orchestra brass section.’
      • ‘Gabel cues with care but without ostentation, he addresses sections of the orchestra and he stays with them.’
      • ‘The entire woodwind and brass sections were all off stage!’
      • ‘The luxurious tunes are kept taut and alive, while all sections of the orchestra are on virtuoso form.’
      • ‘It would be idle to deny that all sections of British orchestras have become increasingly female over the past couple of decades.’
      • ‘Schubert was not one to underwork his string sections and the orchestra, playing flat out for sustained periods, was most impressive.’
      • ‘Add probably the best rhythm section in town right now and it's a fabulous, stirring noise.’
      • ‘Add a rhythm section to your youthful band with our wood and skin Tambourine.’
    2. 2.2[in names]A specified military unit.
      ‘a GHQ Signals Section’
      • ‘Basson is still working for South Africa in its military's medical section.’
      • ‘Its military, working dog section consists of a single dog and it doesn't even belong to the Air Force.’
      • ‘In Bosnia, IO staff sections were formed in units below brigade.’
      • ‘It has tested each of you as an individual and, more importantly, as part of a war fighting infantry section.’
      • ‘It is our tank sections and infantry squads that invariably make contact with hostile forces, not companies or battalions.’
    3. 2.3A subdivision of an army platoon.
      • ‘A unit of action may vary from a nine-man infantry section through to a 3500-person brigade.’
      • ‘Due to the nature of current combat operations in Iraq, our primary mounted maneuver unit is the section.’
      • ‘Military and DA civilian leaders have responsibility for what their sections, units, or organizations do or fail to do.’
      • ‘Soldiers will be trained to deploy as individuals, sections or units.’
      • ‘This latter cavalry regiment had sent one section still farther forward into Persia.’
    4. 2.4Biology A secondary taxonomic category, especially a subgenus.
      • ‘Halda treated section Stenogyne as a subgenus of Gentiana.’
      • ‘Several genera that are at times segregated from Atriplex have been variously treated as subgenera or sections, or simply placed in synonymy with Atriplex.’
      • ‘At the subgeneric level, the classification of Valeriana in subgenera and sections is difficult.’
      • ‘Each species is classified under a sub-genus, and a section.’
      • ‘According to Navarro, these taxa belong to six sections.’
  • 3[mass noun] The cutting of a solid by or along a plane.

    1. 3.1The shape resulting from cutting a solid along a plane.
      ‘nails of round section’
    2. 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’
      • ‘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. 3.3Surgery [count noun]A separation by cutting.
      • ‘On coronal sections, a mass measuring 4 cm in diameter was observed in the right frontal lobe white matter.’
      • ‘No staining in the retina or any other parts of the body was detected on sections.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Obviously, if you have to deliver via Caesarian section it will take longer for you to get back on your bike.’
    4. 3.4Biology [count noun]A thin slice of plant or animal tissue prepared for microscopic examination.
      • ‘Serial transverse sections showed homogeneous pale red-brown parenchyma without discrete abnormality.’
      • ‘At least three tissue sections from each of the 49 biopsy samples from the 15 patients considered were analyzed.’
      • ‘Sets of transverse, serial thin sections were prepared to document growth and increase in detail.’
      • ‘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.’


  • 1Divide into sections.

    ‘she began to section the grapefruit’
    • ‘The restrictions will apply when the pool is sectioned into lanes.’
    • ‘I sectioned the long whiskey barrel staves with the chainsaw.’
    • ‘To prevent copying, DVDs are sectioned into blocks that are each encrypted using a content scrambling system.’
    • ‘The brush is sectioned so that the bristles appear at regular intervals around the barrel.’
    • ‘They've already sectioned the house into a rich and poor side, they've sent a contestant to South Africa, they've made the house ‘evil’.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The space was simply sectioned with a seating area to one end and a bespoke stainless-steel kitchen to the other.’
    • ‘Israeli forces had sectioned Gaza into three parts, closing off the coastal road in front of Netzarim to all traffic.’
    • ‘I thought about sectioning it but in the end went for the long-list system which makes me look well read.’
    • ‘The only way to tell a dolphin's age for definite is by sectioning a tooth, said Mr Whooley.’
    1. 1.1Separate an area from a larger one.
      ‘parts of the curved balcony had been sectioned off with wrought-iron grilles’
      • ‘Small areas are sectioned off where people are sleeping on mattresses on pallets.’
      • ‘Full capacity is at 800 but the hall can be sectioned off for 300.’
      • ‘Some come with dividers that can section the crate off as the pup grows to its full size.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘All over the image the terrain has been sectioned off.’
      • ‘These areas have been sectioned off because they are unsafe!’
      • ‘Part of the castle is sectioned off for re-pointing to be carried out.’
      • ‘You might also want to get some dust masks and plastic to section the room off from the rest of the house.’
      • ‘Curtains separated the room into three, and one third was sectioned off and occupied.’
    2. 1.2Biology Cut (animal or plant tissue) into thin slices for microscopic examination.
      ‘the specimens were embedded and serially sectioned’
      • ‘The cartilage was sectioned into 2-mm full-thickness slices.’
      • ‘The specimen was serially sectioned and submitted entirely.’
      • ‘The brain of each rat was sectioned in the coronals plane into 2 mm thickness pieces using a plastic model of the rat brain.’
      • ‘Small specimens were sectioned in an epoxy resin matrix.’
      • ‘The paraffin-embedded specimen was serially sectioned until the full cross-sectional area of the specimen was believed to be exposed.’
      • ‘Eight roots were sectioned longitudinally and another eight roots were sectioned transversely.’
    3. 1.3Surgery Divide by cutting.
      ‘it is common veterinary practice to section the nerves to the hoof of a limping horse’
      • ‘If these foci are sectioned perfectly, diagnosis is not difficult because the parallel arrangement of the prongs is obvious.’
      • ‘On sectioning the liver, diffuse tan miliary lesions surrounded by dark red hemorrhagic tissue were seen.’
      • ‘The vastus medialis muscle, which completely surrounds the patella in the pig, was sectioned to expose the articular capsule.’
      • ‘At autopsy, the heart was longitudinally sectioned through the left atrium and left ventricle.’
      • ‘Because of their predominantly vertical orientation, the basilar segmental bronchi of the right lower lobe are routinely sectioned transversely on CT.’
  • 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?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In 2003, he was sectioned under the mental health act and diagnosed as suffering from manic depression.’
    • ‘It is therefore highly unlikely that he will be abstinent from alcohol unless he was sectioned and in a locked environment.’
    • ‘He was taken from his home in Brentwood and sectioned under the mental health act.’
    commit, certify, section, hospitalize, institutionalize
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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.