: having a (specified) animal mode of existence
: of, relating to, or being a (specified) geologic era

Word History


Adjective combining form (1)

Greek zôion "animal" + -ic entry 1 — more at zoo-

Adjective combining form (2)

Greek zōḗ "life" + -ic entry 1 — more at zoo-

Note: The formative -zoic was first used in the era names paleozoic and Protozoic (later proterozoic), introduced by the British geologist Adam Sedgwick (1785-1873) in "A synopsis of the English series of stratified rocks inferior to the old red standstone—with an attempt to determine the successive natural groups and formations [May 23]," Proceedings of the Geological Society of London, vol. 2, no. 58 (1838), pp. 675-85. These coinages may have been modeled on French prozoïque "of rocks in which there are no fossils," used by Claude Antoine Rozet in Cours élémentaire de géognosie (Paris, 1830), p. 160.

Dictionary Entries Near -zoic

Cite this Entry

“-zoic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/-zoic. Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

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