\ˈzōn \

Definition of zone 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : any of five great divisions of the earth's surface with respect to latitude and temperature — compare frigid zone, temperate zone, torrid zone

b : a portion of the surface of a sphere included between two parallel planes

2 archaic : girdle, belt

3a : an encircling anatomical structure

b(1) : a subdivision of a biogeographic region that supports a similar fauna and flora throughout its extent

(2) : such a zone dominated by a particular life form

c : a distinctive belt, layer, or series of layers of earth materials (such as rock)

4 : a region or area set off as distinct from surrounding or adjoining parts

5 : one of the sections of an area or territory created for a particular purpose: such as

a : a zoned section of a city

b(1) : any of the eight concentric bands of territory centered on a given postal shipment point designated as a distance bracket for U.S. parcel post to which mail is charged at a single rate

(2) : a distance within which the same fare is charged by a common carrier

c : an area on a field of play

d : a stretch of roadway or a space in which certain traffic regulations are in force

7 : a temporary state of heightened concentration experienced by a performing athlete that enables peak performance players in the zone


zoned; zoning

Definition of zone (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to surround with a zone : encircle

2 : to arrange in or mark off into zones specifically : to partition (a city, borough, or township) by ordinance into sections reserved for different purposes (such as residence or business)



Definition of zone (Entry 3 of 3)

2 : of, relating to, or occurring in a zone defense a zone press a zone blitz

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Other Words from zone


zoner noun

Synonyms for zone

Synonyms: Noun

belt, corridor, land, neck, part(s), region, tract

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Examples of zone in a Sentence


at that point we were out of the danger zone for avalanches


The town council voted to zone the area for industrial use.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Indian River in northern Michigan, which bisects a town of the same name, is normally a placid, no-wake zone lined in tidy cottages and plied by pontoon boats. Elaine Glusac,, "Start your boat engines: 'World's Toughest Outboard Marathon' revs up northern Michigan," 12 July 2018 The period between the end of the World Cup and the start of the new European season is a dead zone, where fans salivate over speculation, let alone an inked, blockbuster move like this one. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Cristiano Ronaldo's World Cup punk move backfired on him," 11 July 2018 There will be an interactive kids zone and food and drink for purchase. Karen Zurawski, Houston Chronicle, "Katy cancels July 4th program; VFW, LaCenterra still plan events," 3 July 2018 There will be a kid zone as well as food and art vendors. Alison Kuznitz,, "A Caribbean Flair Hits This Year's Greater Hartford Festival Of Jazz," 2 July 2018 The Sky Pad is a gravity-defying trampoline zone that is paired with virtual reality goggles. Ellie Rushing,, "Royal Caribbean invests $120 million in one ship for short Bahamas cruises," 25 June 2018 The Obama Foundation is designed to be a grand, global convening zone for younger generations of leaders, physically on its Chicago campus but also through international programming and an ambitious online presence. Gabriel Debenedetti, Daily Intelligencer, "Where Is Barack Obama?," 24 June 2018 The Buckingham Palace balcony is the ultimate VIP zone. Erin Hill,, "It's the Most Royal Day of the Year! All About Trooping the Colour — and Meghan Markle's Debut," 8 June 2018 For example, Chernobyl is not a dead zone: its wildlife thrives (see picture), and many returnees have lived into ruddy old age, eating produce from the radioactive soil. The Economist, "Secrets and lies of the nuclear age," 7 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The course is zoned as agricultural land, and any changes to the zoning would be considered by the community planning group, which would make recommendations to the City Council. Tod Leonard,, "Carmel Mountain Ranch Country Club will be latest S.D. golf course to close," 20 June 2018 Kukurin remains concerned about development in the Bel Air area, whether at the Route 924 and Plumtree site that is still zoned B3, or along Route 22 that could require major improvements to the well-traveled highway. David Anderson, The Aegis, "Three Republicans and one Democrat battle for District C Harford council seat," 8 June 2018 The difference in movement and speed on Wood’s breaking balls meant that the Astros hitters couldn’t zone in on either one. Michael Beller,, "Kerry Wood's 20-Strikeout Outing is the Greatest Pitching Performance Ever ... And I Missed It," 4 May 2018 The new Pasta & Provisions in Charlotte's Wilmore neighborhood Katherine Peralta Charlotte Observer The location is currently zoned as residential. Katherine Peralta, charlotteobserver, "Here's a sneak peek into the new Pasta & Provisions opening soon near uptown | Charlotte Observer," 30 Apr. 2018 Entire neighborhoods are being built on the edge of the county’s protected Rural Crescent, which was zoned in the late 1990s to guard against urban sprawl. Antonio Olivo, Washington Post, "Virginia’s population growth is most robust in Washington suburbs," 25 Jan. 2018 The warehouse parcel is about 43 acres, but the southern 12 acres is zoned for manufacturing. Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, "Developer plans warehouse, distribution building in Aurora," 4 July 2018 Medical marijuana facilities can’t be located within 1,000 feet of a dwelling or residentially zoned property, public or private school or real property owned by the Board of Education. Colin Campbell,, "Owner appeals decision to reject medical marijuana dispensary near Pasadena," 11 July 2018 Commissioners also proceeded with zoning the land at 410 Thunder Road for residential housing. Karen Huppertz, ajc, "Rest Haven getting a little smaller thanks to deannexation," 11 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'zone.' 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 zone


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1782, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1795, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for zone


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin zona belt, zone, from Greek zōnē; akin to Lithuanian juosti to gird

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Dictionary Entries near zone





zone axis

zone defense

zone fire

Statistics for zone

Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for zone

The first known use of zone was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for zone



Financial Definition of zone

What It Is

Zoning is a method of determining how people can use land and buildings within a certain area.

How It Works

Zoning typically delineates areas within a town acceptable for residential construction, commercial construction, industrial construction and agricultural space. It may also require things like sidewalks, street lights, crosswalks and bridges. Zoning is codified by municipalities, and those codifications -- zoning ordinances -- also may dictate building heights and the outer appearance of buildings in certain areas (for example, the city of Santa Fe, NM, encourages most commercial buildings to be covered in stucco).

Why It Matters

Zoning is what prevents hospitals from opening up next to city dumps, or beet farms from running through the middle of downtown Scranton, Pa. The idea is that when a community is orderly, it is more attractive, safer and has fewer conflicts among land users. Ironically, however, zoning ordinances often change because of conflicts between citizens and the government about how they should be able to use their own property.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of zone

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an area that is different from other areas in a particular way

: one of the sections in a city or town that is used for a particular purpose



English Language Learners Definition of zone (Entry 2 of 2)

: to officially say that (a section in a city, town, etc.) can be used for a particular purpose (such as business or housing)


\ˈzōn \

Kids Definition of zone

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a region or area set off or characterized as different from surrounding or neighboring parts The United States is located in one of earth's temperate zones.

2 : one of the sections of an area created for or serving a particular use or purpose a town's business zone


zoned; zoning

Kids Definition of zone (Entry 2 of 2)

: to divide into sections for different uses or purposes This area is zoned for residential use.

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\ˈzōn \

Medical Definition of zone 

1 : an encircling anatomical structure

2 : a region or area set off as distinct



Legal Definition of zone 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a specifically designated section of a larger area or territory: as

a : a section of a municipality controlled by specific restrictions on permitted use (as for residences or agriculture)

b : a distance within which the same fare is charged by a common carrier

c : a stretch of roadway or a space within which certain traffic regulations are in force

zoned; zoning

Legal Definition of zone (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : to partition (as a city or town) by ordinance into sections reserved for different purposes (as residence or business)

b : to designate the permitted use of (property) by placement in a municipal zone land zoned for agricultural use

2 : to restrict different kinds of (use) to different areas the power to zone land use within its borders

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Comments on zone

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


noxious or harmful

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