Definition of segment in English:



  • 1Each of the parts into which something is or may be divided.

    ‘a large segment of the local population’
    ‘orange segments’
    ‘the market for private cars can be broken down into several segments’
    • ‘Who can deny that today, organized crime dominates certain segments of the Bulgarian economy?’
    • ‘Its genome is made up of 100 million bases divided into six segments, or chromosomes.’
    • ‘Furthermore, the courtyard's pavement is divided into ten segments.’
    • ‘The researchers identified short segments of DNA that show up only in a specific species.’
    • ‘In many of the others, the spaces are divided into segments, more or less corresponding to the different generations.’
    • ‘Seminary education was divided into four segments, initial preparatory school being the only one which offered some Slavonic.’
    • ‘Arrange the lemon, tangerine, and blood orange segments on top and around the mousse cake.’
    • ‘Within the first chamber the first segment of the siphuncle appears.’
    • ‘Acrylic is perhaps the fastest-growing segment of the glazing market.’
    • ‘Segmentation means dividing memory into several segments and accessing memory by both segment pointer and offset.’
    • ‘Arrange the blood orange segments over the top of the meringue in a decorative pattern.’
    • ‘Only about half the length of the duplicated segments corresponds closely with their genetic length.’
    • ‘The overall growth of the SUV segment has come, in part, from a rising industry.’
    • ‘Drug offenders are the fastest-growing segment of prison populations in the United States.’
    • ‘The sympathetic nerve supply to the lung arises in the upper six thoracic segments of the spinal cord.’
    • ‘Following card games, video and computer games comprise the largest segment of the gaming community.’
    • ‘There are large segments of our society that do not have equal access and are being left behind.’
    • ‘Spinal implants continue to represent the fastest-growing segment of the global orthopedic market.’
    • ‘However, special attention must be paid to the donor chromosome segment around the target gene.’
    • ‘Secondly, heritage tourism is the fastest growing segment of the tourism industry.’
    piece, part, bit, section, chunk, division, portion, slice, fragment, component, wedge, lump, slab, hunk, parcel, tranche
    subdivision, division, fraction, part, portion, section, constituent, element, unit, module, ingredient, slice, department, compartment, sector
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A portion of time allocated to a particular broadcast item on radio or television.
      ‘they probably want to tape you for the eleven o'clock segment’
      • ‘From the top of the hour news items on Today and 30-second segments on CNN, to the rotating videos, images of the deceased permeate.’
      • ‘The press no longer thinks yellow ribbons and support for soldiers is worthy of a few paragraphs or a segment on the ten o'clock news.’
      • ‘There are two things that fill a newspaper or the news segment on TV or radio: news and advertising.’
      • ‘Have you noticed, for example, how often segments on television news magazines deal with court cases?’
    2. 1.2A separate broadcast item, typically one of a number that make up a particular programme.
      ‘Hammond and the others were filming a segment for his programme’
      • ‘In addition to the ‘street’ scenes, HIV and AIDS will be addressed in the animation and live action segments of the multilingual television show.’
      • ‘The results will be daily television segments reporting on this new and important area of the media.’
      • ‘One man's face time in the television segment had to be cut down because he came off as much more insincere on screen than on the radio.’
      • ‘More than 20 million consumers have seen television segments about custom framing.’
      • ‘The disclaimer is displayed at the end of the segment featuring Amina and her mother.’
      • ‘Lunchtime TV news bulletins yesterday ran segments saying that the conference had been cancelled, but the Cabinet told reporters in the afternoon that no such agreement had been made.’
      • ‘There are a lot of short interview segments on this disc.’
      • ‘A recent segment on television described an innovative prison in California.’
      • ‘Draft a press release and get a television or radio segment done about you, or a newspaper article written about you.’
      • ‘Take an already-published newspaper article, magazine feature, or television segment, then make it longer.’
      • ‘One solution to this has been the occasional bigger-picture articles and television segments that provide context or assess the truth of candidate advertisements.’
      • ‘In a front-page article published Sunday, the New York Times detailed the government's increasing use of the videos, which simulate genuine television news segments.’
      • ‘He'd once been in a segment on local television, and he read the comics and sports in his hometown paper.’
      • ‘Divided into four segments, the show starts with the teams competing with each other, to decide the important seating order.’
      • ‘They have offered news and editorials, feature articles, special sections, television segments, community partnerships, and tutoring.’
      • ‘Each title has an interview segment featuring either the star or director or both.’
      • ‘Although a few federal agencies have stopped making television news segments, others continue.’
      • ‘I think we can grow that part of the business again with the television segment.’
      • ‘There are brief introductions here and there, and you can find a couple of radio segments about her or one of her photos.’
      • ‘Following this is an interview segment conducted by BBC Radio's Jonathan Ross.’
  • 2Geometry
    A part of a figure cut off by a line or plane intersecting it, in particular.

    • ‘The main purpose of the work is to investigate the volume of segments of these three-dimensional figures.’
    • ‘For example, when we start with a hexagon, the final shape may be a segment, a triangle, or another hexagon.’
    1. 2.1The part of a circle enclosed between an arc and a chord.
      • ‘It is assumed that the unsupported outer border of the pouch deforms into a segment of a circle and that the material does not stretch much.’
      • ‘He found the length of an arc of the cycloid using an exhaustion proof based on dissections to reduce the problem to summing segments of chords of a circle which are in geometric progression.’
      • ‘The chord of the segment is given, as is its area, and the student is asked to compute its height (the length of the perpendicular bisector of the chord to the circle).’
      • ‘Given partial information about a segment of a circle, how do you compute what you want to know?’
      • ‘This he affected by circumscribing a semicircle about an isosceles right-angled triangle and a segment of a circle similar to those cut off by the sides.’
    2. 2.2The part of a line included between two points.
      • ‘A system of three equations was derived using distances from three adjacent line segments drawn between vertices.’
      • ‘Given the way that we have defined line segments, a great circle makes a good definition of a straight line.’
      • ‘Two similar problems were to trisect an angle and to produce a line segment whose square has the same area as that of a given circle.’
      • ‘We can mark a point on the side that divides it into segments of length a and b.’
      • ‘Newton gave a method of drawing the Cissoid of Diocles using two line segments of equal length at right angles.’
    3. 2.3The part of a sphere cut off by any plane not passing through the centre.
      • ‘As in the treatment of Siegel, lipid monolayers in the intermediates are assumed to form surfaces that are segments of spheres or of spherical torroids.’
      • ‘Using a different approach, Archimedes found the surface area of a sphere, and the surface area of any segment of a sphere.’
  • 3Zoology
    Each of the series of similar anatomical units of which the body and appendages of some animals are composed, such as the visible rings of an earthworm's body.

    • ‘Unlike the agnostids, polymerid trilobites typically have more than two or three thoracic segments, and the pygidium is usually smaller than the cephalon.’
    • ‘The ventral branchial arch segments of placoderms are so poorly known that nothing useful can be said.’
    • ‘This specimen cannot be specifically identified because it lacks the cephalon and first thoracic segment.’
    • ‘They have a number of body segments (known as somites), which are sometimes fused to form rigid areas, or are free but linked to each other by flexible areas.’
    • ‘Agnostids have only two or three segments between the cephalon and pygidium.’
  • 4Phonetics
    The smallest distinct part of a spoken utterance, especially with regard to vowel and consonant sounds rather than stress or intonation.

    • ‘There may certainly be independent grounds for categorizing segments as vowels or consonants, in terms of their inherent sonority and phonological dependence, for example.’
    • ‘This sound cue, which lasts for one-tenth to one-fifth of a second, marks the transition from a consonant sound to a speech segment beginning with a vowel.’
    • ‘A synthesized speech segment sounds exactly the way the term suggests: synthetic.’


  • 1 Divide (something) into separate parts or sections.

    ‘the unemployed are segmented into two groups’
    • ‘Their competitors also cannot segment their databases and offer tailored and targeted holidays to existing customers.’
    • ‘I'm not holding my breath, but they do need to segment supermarket and convenience trading.’
    • ‘This will also allow companies to segment product lines in the manufacturing process with secure and non-secure versions.’
    • ‘Peat cutters had been at work, segmenting the bogs into little squares to extract their staple fuel.’
    • ‘Analysts say that Taiwan's economy is segmented into two parts.’
    • ‘The muscles of the body are segmented into blocks called myotomes.’
    • ‘How useful is it to segment the great movement out of nineteenth-century Europe into distinct ‘national’ migrations?’
    • ‘Broadly, the clothes are segmented into casual cottons and semi-corporate or office wear.’
    • ‘The recipes are segmented into nine chapters - meat, egg, fish, vegetables, rice, pickles, desserts, breakfast delights and teatime favourites.’
    • ‘Each of these targets, along with others for ambulance response times, segments the timeline into intervals deemed controllable by the separate parts of the system.’
    • ‘Mohan Ram's collection was segmented into two genres, world cinema and Indian cinema.’
    • ‘At a running time of around four minutes, the overture is segmented into four themes.’
    • ‘The next step in transforming the selling strategy was to segment the potential customer market.’
    • ‘The monopolist can segment market demand, and still certify white males as before.’
    • ‘For one thing, traditional consumer electronics companies attempt to segment the market.’
    • ‘Outline writers segment the overall plot into weekly and then daily portions.’
    • ‘The course is segmented into six different sections.’
    • ‘It is hard - although not impossible - for big banks to segment their services to appeal to different customers, he suggests.’
    divide, divide up, subdivide, separate, split, split up, cut up, carve up, slice up, break up, dismember
    sever, segregate, divorce, partition, section, compartment
    share out, portion out, distribute
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[no object]Divide into separate parts or sections.
      ‘the market is beginning to segment into a number of well-defined categories’
      • ‘If the bulbs have segmented into cloves which can be separated, it is time to harvest.’
      • ‘Would they factionalise and segment, or unify?’
      • ‘As the educated class has grown, it has segmented.’
    2. 1.2Embryology [no object](of a cell) undergo cleavage; divide into many cells.


Late 16th century (as a term in geometry): from Latin segmentum, from secare to cut. The verb dates from the mid 19th century.