ground zero

noun

Definition of ground zero

1 : the point directly above, below, or at which a nuclear explosion occurs
2 : the center or origin of rapid, intense, or violent activity or change broadly : center sense 2a the party town that served as ground zero for those corporate … bashes — Rich Eisen
3 : the very beginning : square one

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Examples of ground zero in a Sentence

ground zero in the battle over immigration laws a city that was once ground zero for the insurance industry

Recent Examples on the Web

But each year at ground zero, victims' relatives infuse the ceremony with personal messages of remembrance, inspiration and concern. Jennifer Peltz And Karen Matthews, Fox News, "US marks 9/11 with somber tributes; Trump speaks at PA site," 12 Sep. 2018 Since Republicans swept to control of the North Carolina Legislature and the governorship in 2010 and 2012, the state has become ground zero for struggles over election rules and voting rights. Michael Wines, New York Times, "North Carolina Republicans Are Back With a New Plan for Strict Voter Laws," 15 June 2018 Here's how to explore the ground zero of the Midwest’s creative energy and output. Leslie Pariseau, Condé Nast Traveler, "3 Days in Detroit," 3 Oct. 2018 But in many ways, Georgia was ground zero for a huge fight about voting rights in the 2018 election. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "This Democrat thinks voting rights should be one of the House’s first big priorities in January," 11 Dec. 2018 Knotweed has also reached Australia, a country that has been ground zero for the worst excesses of invasive species. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, "Overrun by Alien Species," 1 Nov. 2018 Connecticut is ground zero for Republican efforts to continue their gains in progressive New England. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: 'Trump effect' felt in Tuesday's primaries; Trump-Omarosa feud heading to court?," 15 Aug. 2018 This Saturday, more were open for business, even at least two on the Champs Élysées, ground zero for the protests. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "In Paris, the Gilets Jaunes Protests Impact Holiday Shopping Season," 17 Dec. 2018 But for a select few, the airport is ground zero for a heap of shadowy, dark conspiracy theories fueled by the internet. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Denver airport construction signs poke fun at conspiracy rumors," 7 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ground zero.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ground zero

1946, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for ground zero

The first known use of ground zero was in 1946

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More Definitions for ground zero

ground zero

noun

English Language Learners Definition of ground zero

: the point on the earth's surface directly above, below, or at which an explosion (especially a nuclear explosion) occurs
: the central point in an area of fast change or intense activity
: the beginning state or starting point

More from Merriam-Webster on ground zero

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ground zero

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ground zero

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