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[noun seg-muh nt; verb seg-ment, seg-ment] /noun ˈsɛg mənt; verb ˈsɛg mɛnt, sɛgˈmɛnt/
one of the parts into which something naturally separates or is divided; a division, portion, or section:
a segment of an orange.
  1. a part cut off from a figure, especially a circular or spherical one, by a line or plane, as a part of a circular area contained by an arc and its chord or by two parallel lines or planes.
  2. Also called line segment. a finite section of a line.
  1. any of the rings that compose the body of an annelid or arthropod.
  2. any of the discrete parts of the body of an animal, especially of an arthropod.
an object, as a machine part, having the form of a segment or sector of a circle.
  1. a portion of a program, often one that can be loaded and executed independently of other portions.
  2. a unit of data in a database.
an arclike support on which the typebars of a typewriter rest when not in use.
verb (used with or without object)
to separate or divide into segments.
Origin of segment
1560-70; < Latin segmentum, equivalent to sec(āre) to cut + -mentum -ment
Related forms
[seg-muh n-ter-ee] /ˈsɛg mənˌtɛr i/ (Show IPA),
segmentate, adjective
intersegment, noun, adjective
multisegment, adjective
multisegmented, adjective
nonsegmentary, adjective
nonsegmented, adjective
unsegmentary, adjective
unsegmented, adjective
1. See part. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for segment
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Thus he continues until the third segment is reached, from which he carries away a fresh load of pollen to another flower.

    My Studio Neighbors William Hamilton Gibson
  • Small as the segment of humanity is, it is a type of the great world to which it belongs.

    Tales Of The Trains Charles James Lever
  • The third segment consists of nine small bones, the carpals of the wrist or the tarsals of the ankle.

    Degeneracy Eugene S. Talbot
  • Joint: a segment or part between two incisures: an articulation.

  • As armature, commutator, and shaft rotate, the brushes connect first with one segment of the commutator and then with the other.

    General Science Bertha M. Clark
British Dictionary definitions for segment


noun (ˈsɛɡmənt)
  1. a part of a line or curve between two points
  2. a part of a plane or solid figure cut off by an intersecting line, plane, or planes, esp one between a chord and an arc of a circle
one of several parts or sections into which an object is divided; portion
(zoology) any of the parts into which the body or appendages of an annelid or arthropod are divided
(linguistics) a speech sound considered in isolation
verb (sɛɡˈmɛnt)
to cut or divide (a whole object) into segments
Derived Forms
segmentary (ˈsɛɡməntərɪ; -trɪ) adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin segmentum, from secāre to cut
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 segment

1560s, from Latin segmentum "a strip or piece cut off, a cutting, strips of colored cloth," from secare "to cut" (see section (n.)), with euphonious alteration of -c- to -g- before -m-. Latin segmentum was used in Medieval Latin as a geometry term, translating Greek tmema, and the word was first picked up in English in this sense. Meaning "segmental portion of anything circular" is from 1640s; general sense of "a division, section" is from 1762.


1859, intransitive, in reference to cell division, from segment (n.). Transitive sense, "divide (something) into segments" is from 1872. Related: Segmented; segmenting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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segment in Medicine

segment seg·ment (sěg'mənt)

  1. A clearly differentiated subdivision of an organism or part, such as a metamere.

  2. A part of an organ having independent function, supply, or drainage.

  3. See zona.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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segment in Science
  1. The portion of a line between any two of its points.

  2. The region bounded by an arc of a circle and the chord that connects the endpoints of the arc.

  3. The portion of a sphere included between a pair of parallel planes that intersect it or are tangent to it.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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segment in Technology

/seg'ment/ 1. A collection of pages in a memory management system.
2. A separately relocatable section of an executable program. Unix executables have a text segment (executable machine instructions), a data segment (initialised data) and a bss segment (uninitialised data).
3. network segment.
4. To experience a segmentation fault. Confusingly, the stress is often put on the first syllable, like the noun "segment", rather than the second like mainstream verb "segment". This is because it is actually a noun shorthand that has been verbed.
5. A block of memory in a segmented address space.
[Jargon File]
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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