follow Dictionary.com

Your favorite word could be our Word of the Day!

cross section

noun
1.
a section made by a plane cutting anything transversely, especially at right angles to the longest axis.
2.
a piece so cut off.
3.
a photograph, diagram, or other pictorial representation of such a section.
4.
the act of cutting anything across.
5.
a typical selection; a sample showing all characteristic parts, relationships, etc.:
a cross section of American opinion.
6.
Surveying. a vertical section of the ground surface taken at right angles to a survey line.
7.
Also called nuclear cross section. Physics. a quantity expressing the effective area that a given nucleus presents as a target to a bombarding particle, giving a measure of the probability that the particle will induce a reaction.
Origin
1825-1835
1825-35

cross-section

[kraws-sek-shuh n, kros-] /ˈkrɔsˈsɛk ʃən, ˈkrɒs-/
adjective
1.
Also, cross-sectional. of or pertaining to a cross section.
verb (used with object)
2.
to make or divide into a cross section.
Origin
1875-80
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for cross section
  • Together these tips suggest a cross section of a single many-stranded organism or cable.
  • As always, there was a cross section of experts testifying at the hearing.
  • The cylinder, which mimics the cross section of a palm tree, is dense on the outside and porous in the middle.
  • For this to be valid, one's information must contain a true cross section of society for its opinions.
  • It was the same thing that atomic and particle physicists call a collision cross section.
  • T he extravaganza brought together an astounding cross section of creative talent.
  • Here, among a curated cross section of his people, he was secure.
  • Working with this cross section of artists was great because each one had a different experience with hip-hop.
  • It is not, nor will it ever be limited to your readership, or a broad cross section of the public.
  • Layer after layer, the laser traces the cross section of the cup, building it from the bottom up--including the handle.
British Dictionary definitions for cross section

cross section

noun
1.
(maths) a plane surface formed by cutting across a solid, esp perpendicular to its longest axis
2.
a section cut off in this way
3.
the act of cutting anything in this way
4.
a random selection or sample, esp one regarded as representative: a cross section of the public
5.
(surveying) a vertical section of a line of ground at right angles to a survey line
6.
(physics) a measure of the probability that a collision process will result in a particular reaction. It is expressed by the effective area that one participant presents as a target for the other
Derived Forms
cross-sectional, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for cross section

cross-section

n.

also cross section, 1748, originally in engineering sketches, from cross (adj.) + section (n.). Figurative sense of "representative sample" is from 1903.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
cross section in Science
cross section  
In particle physics, an expression of the probability of the occurrence of an event, typically the scattering of subatomic particles, over a given area.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for cross section

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for cross

7
8
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with cross section