noun (1), often capitalized, often attributive
\ ˈzē How to pronounce z (audio) , Canadian, British, and Australian ˈzed How to pronounce z (audio) , chiefly dialectal ˈi-zərd How to pronounce z (audio) \
plural z's or zs

Definition of z

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : the 26th and last letter of the English alphabet
b : a graphic representation of this letter
c : a speech counterpart of orthographic z
2 : a graphic device for reproducing the letter z
3 : one designated z especially as the 26th in order or class or the third in order or class when x is made the first
4 : something shaped like the letter Z
5 : wink sense 1 usually used in pluralcatch some z's before dinner

Definition of z (Entry 2 of 4)

1 zero
2 zone

Definition of Z (Entry 3 of 4)

variants: or ZD

Definition of Z (Entry 4 of 4)

zenith distance

Examples of z in a Sentence

Noun (1) a word that begins with a z a word that begins with z

First Known Use of z

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (2)

1967, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about z

Time Traveler for z

Time Traveler

The first known use of z was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for z

Cite this Entry

“Z.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/z. Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for z

How to pronounce Z (audio) How to pronounce Z (audio) How to pronounce Z (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of z

: the 26th letter of the English alphabet
used in the phrase x, y, and z to refer to the third thing in a group of three unnamed things


noun, often capitalized
\ ˈzē How to pronounce z (audio) \
plural z's or zs\ ˈzēz \

Kids Definition of z

: the 26th letter of the English alphabet

Medical Definition of Z

1 atomic number
2 impedance

More from Merriam-Webster on z

Nglish: Translation of z for Spanish Speakers

Comments on z

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!