What do the words sectioninsect, and segment all have in common? All three of these words stem from the root word sect, which means to cut. Many different words come from the root word sect, and it’s easy to see why, if you look at the words all together and compare them. Insect, for example, has the root word sect because it looks like insects are “cut” from three different pieces. An intersection, where two roads come together, comes from the root word sect because one road “cuts” another.

This is just part of the reason why we love root words here at Bespeaking! It’s interesting to see the origins of words and where things came from. Knowing a couple of root words can help you learn new words faster, as you can see more easily how some words are grouped (put together) into the same “families.”

This week, for words with the root word sect, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorites, along with some definitions and examples to help you learn all about this family of words.

Words Using the Root Word Sect

Segment: (n) one of the parts into which something can be divided

  • May I please have a segment of your orange?
  • The Lego train track was in different segments, so that it can be rearranged easily.

Insect: (n) a small animal that has six legs and a body formed of three parts. It may also have wings.

  • One of my favorite parts of summer is sitting outside at night and listening to the different insects make noise.
  • My friend always thought insects were interesting, but I thought they were gross.

Section: (n) one of the parts that form something, (v) to divide something into parts

  • I have to read a 100-page section of this book for class over the weekend.
  • We went to see the orchestra last night. The string section was lovely.
  • He sectioned off some of the seats to reserve them for people with disabilities.

Intersection: (n) a place or area where two things, such as streets, meet

  • He got into an accident at the intersection because he didn’t slow down when the traffic light turned yellow.
  • I’ll meet you at the intersection of Willow and Vine. I’ll be standing on the corner there.

Bisect: (v) to divide into two equal parts

  • The river bisected the canyon. It was amazing to see in person how it cut through all that rock!
  • The bridge bisects the city, with the north on one side and the south on the other.

Dissect: (v) to cut a plant or dead animal into separate parts in order to study it; to examine something carefully

  • I never liked dissecting things in science class. It always made me feel sad.
  • The reporter dissected his source’s statement, looking for any flaws in what he had to say.

Subsection: (n) a part of a section, especially of a legal document

  • If you look at this subsection, it directly contradicts (say the opposite of) the law right above it.
  • Paragraph 5, subsection F clearly states that my client didn’t break any laws!

As you can see, there are many different words that come from the root word sect, meaning to cut. Can you think of any others? Share them with us in the comments below! Check out our other blogs on the root words jectligcult, or fort.

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Check out these other popular blogs: Dating Vocabulary in EnglishWhy You Could Use a Bespeaking ProofreaderItalian Loan Words in English, or these 5 Great Antonyms in English!

Erin Duffin lives in Hamburg, is an English teacher, blogger, yoga instructor, and is looking forward to the next section of the book she’s reading.

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