In my specific case I want to abbreviate the word section. I abbreviate the singular case to sec. and hope that's correct. I have no idea, however, how to abbreviate sections.

Is it secs? Is it sec.s? Or is it secs.?

The same goes for words such as chapter.

I couldn't find the answer on this site. I did find about abbreviations with mutliple words (e.g. PhDs). I found answers on specific time units (e.g. hours is hrs) but I don't know if this is the case for my question with any noun.

1 Answer 1


Wikipedia has the following to say on this.

To indicate the plural of the abbreviation or symbol of a unit of measure, the same form is used as in the singular.

1 lb or 20 lb 1 ft or 16 ft 1 min or 45 min

For abbreviations of literary terms such as pages, chapters etc. you use the same letter twice: p for page becomes pp for pages; c for chapter becomes cc for chapters; s for section becomes ss for sections.

The problem with using "secs" in this case is that rather than being an abbreviation for sections it's likely to be confused for one meaning seconds. I don't think it's common to abbreviate those terms like that, so I'm not aware of any hard-and-fast rules for it.

  • Alternatively, as Wikipedia points out use §§ instead of ss for "sections". That's the form I'm used to. Feb 2, 2016 at 15:57
  • And I wouldn't use cc for chapters (rather than cubic centimetres). Use ch: See ch. 5-7.
    – Andrew Leach
    Feb 2, 2016 at 15:58
  • Both good points. I was honestly contemplating deleting my answer entirely as, upon reflection, I wasn't sure any more that it adequately addressed the question being asked, but it got upvoted so I put it back in. Feb 2, 2016 at 15:59

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