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Which term best suits to describe a part/slice/share/portion of a piechart, disregarding what the chart is about ?

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6 Answers 6

up vote 10 down vote accepted

The correct term is slice, fitting the pie metaphor.

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Slice is good because it fits the metaphor, but I think it's a little bit whimsical & familiar for, say, a formal business or academic presentation. In those contexts, segment and sector would be more likely to slot in without calling attention to themselves. –  FumbleFingers Apr 8 '11 at 16:30
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I don't agree that it is whimsical. Sector is the correct mathematical term for this sort of part of a circle and is perfectly acceptable. Anybody using a pie chart in academia is deserving of ridicule. ;) –  z7sg Ѫ Apr 8 '11 at 16:42
    
Hmm. Pie-charts are beneath the dignity of academia, huh? I can't be bothered to find online content from a redbrick uni to counter that - The Open University has a page on pie-charts that's easy to find. They are a bit 'populist', in that they use the word slice 4 times as opposed to only 3 segments. Maybe the redbricks might reverse that ratio. Maybe you're right anyway. Maybe there's no such thing as 'right' in these subtle distinctions, but I see your rebuttal has 5 upvotes already, so I guess you're at least winning. –  FumbleFingers Apr 8 '11 at 22:01
    
I'll pick this answer, because IMO it bests suits the metaphor of the pie and the way these charts are used than sector. Anyway, thanks for all the answers –  BiAiB Apr 10 '11 at 9:59

Since each "part" is a sector of a circle, sector can be used IMO.

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I think the word "segment" would usually be used.

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Isn't sector technically more accurate, at least from mathematical point of view? Though in practice I doubt anyone would object to "segment", in the more general sense of "a piece" rather than the strictly mathematical one :) –  psmears Apr 8 '11 at 16:32
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Interetsing -- you're right that geometrically, "sector" is the correct term, yet I think people more often call them segments. I guess they're not using "segment" in the mathematical sense. –  Neil Coffey Apr 8 '11 at 18:49

All the ones mentioned are fine. You can also call it wedge, especially with 3D pies. One that is pulled out is called exploded wedge.

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I would tend to go with section.

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Others have mentioned it, but the first word that came to my mind was "sector".

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