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Meaning of cross section

cross' sec"tion

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. a section made by a plane cutting anything transversely, esp. 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. a vertical section of the ground surface taken at right angles to a survey line.
  7. Also calleda 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.

cross-sec•tion

Pronunciation: (krôs'sek'shun, kros'-), [key]
— adj.
  1. of or pertaining to a cross section.
—v.t.
  1. to make or divide into a cross section.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.