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Definition of "cross section" [cross section]

  • A section formed by a plane cutting through an object, usually at right angles to an axis. (noun)
  • A piece so cut or a graphic representation of such a piece. (noun)
  • Physics A measure of the probability that an encounter between particles will result in the occurrence of a particular atomic or nuclear reaction. Also called collision cross section. (noun)
  • Statistics A sample meant to be representative of a whole population. (noun)
  • Informal A variety; a diversity. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "cross section" in a sentence
  • "A significant measure of the effectiveness of a cross section of treatment programs in general can be found in the 1988 Chemical Abuse/Addiction Treatment Outcome Registry CATOR report."
  • "A survey by Industry Week and Price Waterhouse reported that 69 percent of a cross section of U.S. manufacturing plants have adopted some version of this practice."
  • "The popular rebellion-by-inspiration theory gives insufficient consideration to changes that were taking place in the basic structure of American economic and political life—changes which made certain rebellious actions seem necessary to a cross section of American women and which at the same time prevented society from suppressing the activists."
Words like "cross section"