cross section
cross section cross section n. 1. a flat plane cutting through a three-dimensional object, usually at right angles to the longest axis of the object. [PJC]

2. any visual representation of a {cross section[1]}, showing the internal structure of the object in the plane of the cross section; as, the technician prepared a series of MRI cross sections of the skull.

Note: Different cross sections created by different techniques may show different aspects of internal structure. Thus computerized axial tomography using X-rays shows different structures than are visualized by MRI. [PJC]

3. a thin slice of an object made by cutting it transversely; as, to view a cross section of a bacterium with an electron microscope after staining the DNA; cross sections were prepared with a microtome. [PJC]

4. a representative sample of a complex group; as, the town contained a cross section of the American population. [PJC]

5. (Physics) a measure of the probability that a nucleus will interact in a specified way with a bombarding particle, expressed as the effective area that the nucleus presents to the particle; -- called also {nuclear cross section}. [PJC]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • cross-section — also cross section, 1748, originally in engineering sketches, from CROSS (Cf. cross) (adj.) + SECTION (Cf. section). Fig. sense of representative sample is from 1903 …   Etymology dictionary

  • cross-section — UK US /ˈkrɒssekʃən/ noun [C] ► something that has been cut in half so that you can see the inside, or a model or picture of this: »This diagram shows a cross section of the building and the layout of offices on all four floors. ► a small group… …   Financial and business terms

  • cross section — cross ,section noun 1. ) count or uncount the inside of an object that you can see by cutting through the middle of it from top to bottom a ) a drawing that shows the inside of something 2. ) count a group that contains an example of all or most… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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  • cross section — v. t. to create one or a series of {cross sections[3]} by cutting (an object) into thin slices. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cross section — I noun average, characterization, composite representation, embodiment, epitome, example, exemplar, exempli gratia, exemplification, exemplum, fair sample, locus classicus, norm, part exemplifying a mass, part exemplifying a number, profile,… …   Law dictionary

  • cross section — n a cutting or piece of something cut off at right angles to an axis also a representation of such a cutting cross sec·tion·al .krȯ(s) sek shnəl, shən əl adj …   Medical dictionary

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