ground zero


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

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 Capper: [The celebrations] were kind of the ground zero of getting weed legalized. Christian Orozco, Los Angeles Times, 19 Apr. 2022 The village — Point Hope — is less than 30 miles from ground zero. Hilary Lewis, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 Apr. 2022 Researchers noted that Gen-Z women are more transparent about their salaries with peers, so women aren’t starting from ground zero when negotiating pay. Jasmine Browley, Essence, 6 Apr. 2022 The 9/11 Tribute Museum traces its roots to 2004, when a group founded by victims' relatives decided to turn a former deli, steps away from ground zero, into a focal point for commemoration of the 2001 terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people. Jennifer Peltz, ajc, 22 Mar. 2022 New York City was already in the midst of a homelessness crisis before becoming ground zero for the coronavirus last year. NBC News, 21 Sep. 2021 Harris County is ground zero for catastrophic flooding and the most consequential impacts of climate change. Dan Carson, Chron, 21 May 2021 And Carlos, our home state of Florida has been sort of ground zero for some of this action with Governor DeSantis almost using the legislature as his primary vehicle, literally, for 2024. NBC News, 10 Apr. 2022 San Francisco Mayor London Breed declared a state of emergency in December in the crime-heavy Tenderloin neighborhood, which has been ground zero for drug dealing, overdose deaths and homelessness. Sara Cline, Anchorage Daily News, 11 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of ground zero

1946, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for ground zero

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The first known use of ground zero was in 1946

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Dictionary Entries Near ground zero

ground yew

ground zero


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Statistics for ground zero

Last Updated

7 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ground zero.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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