Definition of section in US English:

section

noun

  • 1Any of the more or less distinct parts into which something is or may be divided or from which it is made up.

    ‘arrange orange sections on a platter’
    • ‘This tent was separated into two sections by a heavy partition.’
    • ‘Inside it was divided into two distinct sections.’
    • ‘They say that the buildings and structures enhance the look of the gardens and help to break them up into separate sections.’
    • ‘The collection is divided into four sections with each section arranged around a particular subject.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The room has three separate sections with different temperatures.’
    • ‘There were arches in the room and some audience members were sitting in separate sections.’
    • ‘This exhibition is divided into two sections, the first section involves 16 participants tutored by Bridget O'Hara.’
    • ‘A team of 12 engineers and contractors spent six weeks using heavy cutting gear to separate the two sections.’
    • ‘Where there is a non-smoking pub there should also be one that is smoking (or separated sections in the same pub.)’
    • ‘Part down the middle, then divide hair into sections, front to back.’
    • ‘The descriptions of the varied habits of thomsonite presented below are divided into two sections based on cavity size.’
    • ‘After its eight-bar introduction, the movement divides into three distinct sections plus a coda.’
    • ‘It was basically a giant wedge divided into three sections front to back.’
    • ‘If anything the park should be bigger, with separate novice and expert sections, seating for parents, toilets and a burger bar.’
    • ‘The supply network to Johannesburg consumers is to be divided into 40 sections, with one section being converted at a time.’
    • ‘The menu is divided into two distinct sections but you can pick and choose accordingly.’
    • ‘After lifting and dividing, replant sections from outside the clump and discard the old center.’
    • ‘The film is divided into three distinct sections.’
    segment, part, component, division, piece, portion, length, element, module, unit, constituent, bit, slice, fraction, fragment
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    1. 1.1 A relatively distinct part of a book, newspaper, statute, or other document.
      • ‘But the last section entitled " Balzac the observer " has universal relevance.’
      • ‘Divided into five distinct sections, each portion emphasises different aspects of Shingon Buddhism.’
      • ‘Perhaps you could include a small section devoted to explaining the 100 most common acronyms.’
      • ‘And I don't separate sections of posts with rows of asterisks, either.’
      • ‘You can click on separate sections for news and image searches - a fairly standard feature these days.’
      • ‘Well, that must be right because those two sections apply in civil cases.’
      • ‘The book's three sections cover ambiguity in three areas: news, measurement, and explanation.’
      • ‘It is divided into six sections, with each section containing six chapters, for a total of 36 chapters.’
      • ‘Now, Justice Sully assumed that section 11A applied, did he not?’
      • ‘It includes a full section devoted to the years 1937-1945.’
      • ‘She had taken all reasonable steps to take and act on advice as required by section 14A.’
      • ‘Timetables of express and passenger trains of all the four railway zones have been provided in separate sections.’
      • ‘I mean, the odd thing is that Clinton devoted a large section of the book to his childhood.’
      • ‘His report mentioned one section which dealt with the historical evolution of the village.’
      • ‘But Review remains a separate section and it's all the better for it.’
      • ‘Like Stryk, he divided the book into sections and did not arrange the poems specifically by previous book titles.’
      • ‘A separate section is devoted to the various types of fishing nets used by fishermen communities in the south.’
      • ‘The profile information is presented individually town-by-town with a separate section devoted to our rural areas.’
      • ‘The section titled Structural Integrity addresses the structural integrity of the computational approach.’
      • ‘Food Safety is separated into sections in the report.’
      • ‘The book is divided into three main sections covering background, methods, and applications.’
      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.
      • ‘When the vehicle passes through a Brazilian section of town, the text shifts to Portuguese.’
      • ‘They rented a home by the Tar River, right between the black and white sections of town.’
      • ‘We also learned that the Bohemian section of town was where young urbanites came to feel cool.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I decided to walk through the Islamic section of town to Cairo's infamous bazaar and check it out for myself.’
      • ‘In the intervening three months, yet another airplane crashed, this time into a residential section of New York City.’
      district, quarter, part, zone, precinct, borough, locality, neighbourhood, side
      district, quarter, part, sector, zone, precinct, borough, locality, neighbourhood, side
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  • 2A distinct group within a larger body of people or things.

    ‘the children's section of the library’
    • ‘Cruise has just launched some new jewellery sections within its stores, and there are some really interesting individual pieces.’
    • ‘They accused some sections of that body of trying to frustrate the inquiry.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The inmates are kept together in a dormitory kind of set up with separate sections for men and women.’
    • ‘The ecumenism was typical of the girl and of the city, or at least of certain sections within it.’
    • ‘Within sections of the armed forces too, a particular interpretation of religion was institutionalised.’
    • ‘There are sections within the government that are putting new and difficult demands for the GAM to fulfill.’
    • ‘We still represent a very large section of the population.’
    • ‘Tickets for a match must be sold in a way so that fans of rival teams occupy separate sections of a stadium.’
    • ‘Support for vouchers is growing within sections of the Democratic Party.’
    • ‘The professional section of the bourgeoisie gradually lost its former autonomy and social distinction.’
    • ‘There exists within sections of the white electorate a deep cynicism towards the traditional political parties.’
    • ‘With that Steve walked over to the men's section of the store.’
    • ‘We recognize there is goodwill within certain sections of the government at a state level to tackle this problem.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In the children's section of department stores and in banks there are often toys to be found.’
    • ‘This is much more about tensions within different sections of communities.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The government has already alienated a large section of the population through existing anti-terror legislation.’
    department, part, division, branch, sector, wing, compartment
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    1. 2.1 A group of players of a family of instruments within an orchestra.
      ‘the brass section’
      • ‘The brass quintet is a fun and whacky group made up of members of the Bournemouth Symphonic Orchestra brass section.’
      • ‘The body language of the orchestral string section was a bit of a give away.’
      • ‘Add probably the best rhythm section in town right now and it's a fabulous, stirring noise.’
      • ‘It is as if the string section of the orchestra suddenly decided to play its own music, disregarding everyone else.’
      • ‘At that time, women in London could only play in the wind sections of the BBC Symphony and the English Chamber Orchestras.’
      • ‘The luxurious tunes are kept taut and alive, while all sections of the orchestra are on virtuoso form.’
      • ‘A platform is rigged toward the back of the stage rising over the winds and brass sections for the vocalists.’
      • ‘My father believed there would be more openings for a violin player in an orchestra because the string section was bigger than any other.’
      • ‘The only music to be heard was some of the brass section tuning up their instruments.’
      • ‘Today we find women in brass, percussion and woodwind sections, as well as the safe-havens of strings and harpdom.’
      • ‘He often augmented the reed or brass sections ' ensemble choruses.’
      • ‘Schubert was not one to underwork his string sections and the orchestra, playing flat out for sustained periods, was most impressive.’
      • ‘Gabel cues with care but without ostentation, he addresses sections of the orchestra and he stays with them.’
      • ‘It would be idle to deny that all sections of British orchestras have become increasingly female over the past couple of decades.’
      • ‘It features dialogues between piano and individual orchestra sections.’
      • ‘The brass section of an orchestra typically consists of trumpets, horns, trombones, and tubas.’
      • ‘The entire woodwind and brass sections were all off stage!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Add a rhythm section to your youthful band with our wood and skin Tambourine.’
    2. 2.2 A small class of students who are part of a larger course but are taught separately.
      ‘graduate students lead discussion sections for professors' lecture courses’
      • ‘Each section of the course accommodates between twelve and eighteen students.’
      • ‘I divided the class, each section to be led by one member of the faculty.’
      • ‘The average student in each section did not read much of the textbook.’
      • ‘Once I was taped teaching a section of an undergrad physics course at Berkeley.’
      • ‘Faculty members teaching multiple sections of one course had each section participate in the study.’
    3. 2.3in names A specified military unit.
      ‘a camouflage section was added to the army’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Its military, working dog section consists of a single dog and it doesn't even belong to the Air Force.’
      • ‘Basson is still working for South Africa in its military's medical section.’
      • ‘In Bosnia, IO staff sections were formed in units below brigade.’
    4. 2.4 A subdivision of an army platoon.
      • ‘A unit of action may vary from a nine-man infantry section through to a 3500-person brigade.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This latter cavalry regiment had sent one section still farther forward into Persia.’
      • ‘Military and DA civilian leaders have responsibility for what their sections, units, or organizations do or fail to do.’
    5. 2.5Biology A secondary taxonomic category, especially a subgenus.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Halda treated section Stenogyne as a subgenus of Gentiana.’
      • ‘Each species is classified under a sub-genus, and a section.’
      • ‘According to Navarro, these taxa belong to six sections.’
  • 3The cutting of a solid by or along a plane.

    1. 3.1 The shape resulting from cutting a solid along a plane.
    2. 3.2 A representation of the internal structure of something as if it has been cut through vertically or horizontally.
      • ‘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 A separation by cutting.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘No staining in the retina or any other parts of the body was detected on sections.’
      • ‘On coronal sections, a mass measuring 4 cm in diameter was observed in the right frontal lobe white matter.’
    4. 3.4Biology A thin slice of plant or animal tissue prepared for microscopic examination.
      • ‘At least three tissue sections from each of the 49 biopsy samples from the 15 patients considered were analyzed.’
      • ‘Immunohistochemical studies were performed using formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections of the cyst wall.’
      • ‘Serial transverse sections showed homogeneous pale red-brown parenchyma without discrete abnormality.’
      • ‘The animal from which the tissue sections are prepared is important.’
      • ‘Sets of transverse, serial thin sections were prepared to document growth and increase in detail.’

verb

[with object]
  • 1Divide into sections.

    ‘she began to section the grapefruit’
    • ‘I sectioned the long whiskey barrel staves with the chainsaw.’
    • ‘The restrictions will apply when the pool is sectioned into lanes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I thought about sectioning it but in the end went for the long-list system which makes me look well read.’
    • ‘Israeli forces had sectioned Gaza into three parts, closing off the coastal road in front of Netzarim to all traffic.’
    • ‘The only way to tell a dolphin's age for definite is by sectioning a tooth, said Mr Whooley.’
    • ‘The brush is sectioned so that the bristles appear at regular intervals around the barrel.’
    • ‘The space was simply sectioned with a seating area to one end and a bespoke stainless-steel kitchen to the other.’
    • ‘To prevent copying, DVDs are sectioned into blocks that are each encrypted using a content scrambling system.’
    1. 1.1section something off Separate 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.’
      • ‘All over the image the terrain has been sectioned off.’
      • ‘Isis could see that each area was sectioned off into little green or brown squares according to the owner's preference.’
      • ‘Full capacity is at 800 but the hall can be sectioned off for 300.’
      • ‘The gymnasium had one of those huge movable walls which they would use to section it off into smaller areas for classes.’
      • ‘Curtains separated the room into three, and one third was sectioned off and occupied.’
      • ‘You might also want to get some dust masks and plastic to section the room off from the rest of the house.’
      • ‘Some come with dividers that can section the crate off as the pup grows to its full size.’
      • ‘Part of the castle is sectioned off for re-pointing to be carried out.’
      • ‘These areas have been sectioned off because they are unsafe!’
    2. 1.2Biology Cut (animal or plant tissue) into thin slices for microscopic examination.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Eight roots were sectioned longitudinally and another eight roots were sectioned transversely.’
      • ‘Small specimens were sectioned in an epoxy resin matrix.’
      • ‘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.’
    3. 1.3Surgery Divide by cutting.
      ‘it is common veterinary practice to section the nerves to the hoof of a limping horse’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Because of their predominantly vertical orientation, the basilar segmental bronchi of the right lower lobe are routinely sectioned transversely on CT.’
      • ‘If these foci are sectioned perfectly, diagnosis is not difficult because the parallel arrangement of the prongs is obvious.’
      • ‘At autopsy, the heart was longitudinally sectioned through the left atrium and left ventricle.’
  • 2British Commit (someone) compulsorily to a psychiatric hospital in accordance with a section of a mental health act.

    ‘should she be sectioned?’
    • ‘He was taken from his home in Brentwood and sectioned under the mental health act.’
    • ‘It is therefore highly unlikely that he will be abstinent from alcohol unless he was sectioned and in a locked environment.’
    • ‘In 2003, he was sectioned under the mental health act and diagnosed as suffering from manic depression.’
    • ‘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.’
    commit, certify, section, hospitalize, institutionalize
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Origin

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.

Pronunciation

section

/ˈsekSH(ə)n//ˈsɛkʃ(ə)n/