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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 of cross section
1825-1835
1825-35

cross-section

[kraws-sek-shuh n, kros-] /ˈkrɔsˈsɛk ʃən, ˈkrɒs-/
adjective
1.
Also, cross-sectional. of or relating 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. 2015.
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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
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Word Origin and History for 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
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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.
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Word Value for cross

7
8
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