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

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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

Jamestown became ground zero for slavery in the Americas. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "The Rhetoric and Reality of Donald Trump’s Racism," 31 July 2019 The ceremony Tuesday saw 52 new U.S. citizens pledge allegiance to the nation at the ground zero museum, which opened in 2014. USA TODAY, "Kacey Musgraves, sneaker flap, skiing in July: News from around our 50 states," 3 July 2019 And ground zero is China, the world’s biggest producer and consumer of pork. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Bacon Prices Could Soar Due to the ‘Pig Ebola’ That’s Devastating the Pork Industry," 22 Aug. 2019 Yet ground zero accounts from Venezuela for years have been telling a very different story. Kristen Mcqueary,, "Column: Surprised by CTU’s Venezuela visit? Then you haven’t been paying attention.," 19 Aug. 2019 See the stars at the Naples International Film Festival Artis-Naples, the Paradise Coast’s ground zero for all things performance art, hosts the Naples International Film Festival each October. Holly V. Kapherr, USA TODAY, "Fall for Paradise Coast: 6 things to add to your autumn itinerary this season," 13 Aug. 2019 As news of his imminent departure spread late Tuesday, the number of demonstrators outside the governor’s mansion in Old San Juan, La Fortaleza — ground zero for the protests — swelled. Washington Post, "Puerto Rico governor says he will resign amid intense political pressure, sweeping protests," 25 July 2019 For at least one business owner in West Virginia, CBD is a way to fight the prescription drug epidemic that has made the state ground zero for harrowing news stories about the dangers of opioids. Meredith Clark, Marie Claire, "Is CBD Even Legal Where You Live?," 12 Apr. 2019 For this centuries-old, historic setting to be the new ground zero for fighting substance abuse disorder is remarkable and truly game changing in the fight against addiction. Dave Collins, The Seattle Times, "Trump drug czar nominee visits Connecticut after overdoses," 20 Aug. 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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Statistics for ground zero

Last Updated

8 Sep 2019

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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


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 Encyclopedia article about ground zero

Comments on ground zero

What made you want to look up ground zero? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make a temporary encampment

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