\ ˈzōn How to pronounce zone (audio) \

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

Tropical Storm Barry continued its slow track toward the north-central Gulf Coast on Friday afternoon and tropical storm conditions were starting to be felt in its target zone of Louisiana. Leigh Morgan,, "Tropical Storm Barry afternoon update: Barry’s winds and rain now moving into Louisiana," 12 July 2019 The incident took place about 4:15 p.m. May 16, when Officer Ben Cobb stopped a driver in a gray Chevrolet Impala for allegedly going 57 mph in a 45-mph zone. Sarah Sarder, Dallas News, "Watch: Driver reverses into motorcycle officer after being pulled over in North Richland Hills," 12 July 2019 Boulders and a large crater in the landing zone forced Armstrong to take over manual control, flying the LM like a helicopter to a smooth area and using up precious fuel. Curtis Roelle,, "Star Points: On the occasion of its golden anniversary, looking back at the first moon landing," 12 July 2019 Bicycles will not be allowed in the construction zone, because of the narrow lane widths and the poor condition of the pavement near the gutter. Jeff Rumage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Get ready for repaving of Lake Drive in Whitefish Bay," 8 July 2019 And now, Prairie, his first full-service restaurant venture as both chef and owner, is his testing zone. Soleil Ho,, "The Mission’s Prairie switches gears, but is it better?," 3 July 2019 Fangraphs rates the Reds around league average as a defensive team, ranking 17th in their ultimate zone rating metric and 0.7 defensive runs above average. Bobby Nightengale,, "With shortstop José Iglesias, Cincinnati Reds continue to make strides defensively," 25 June 2019 During summer, kids can run through the two-story outdoor play structure, dig up fossils, and splash around in the water zone. Kristi Valentini, Woman's Day, "These Summer Vacation Spots Are the Hidden Gems of the Midwest," 25 June 2019 One thing Bowman and Hawks coach Jeremy Colliton have stressed is their defensive problems last season can also be linked to not having forwards who win puck battles and contribute enough in their own zone. Jimmy Greenfield,, "‘There will be more trades to come’: NHL free agency is almost here, but that’s just one way Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman is looking to improve the roster," 22 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

That commission weighs in on all zoning change requests – including the one Darpel and his friend from college needed for this business venture to be successful. Julia Fair,, "Ft. Mitchell: Controversial apartment complex rejected," 15 July 2019 The custom home at 12307 Old Oaks Drive in the Frostwood subdivision of Memorial West boasts a prime location within minutes of Memorial City, City Centre and Town and Country, in addition to being zoned to Spring Branch Independent School District. Emilia Benton, Houston Chronicle, "Custom traditional home available in Memorial West," 14 July 2019 The amendment, if approved, would allow for two alpacas not just on Thor and Jimenez’s property, but anywhere in the city similarly zoned. San Diego Union-Tribune, "A fight to keep a couple alpaca pets in Escondido," 13 July 2019 The town council, the town’s zoning authority, tabled the proposal Tuesday by the company to build a contemporary four-story, 141-unit Marriott AC Hotel on the last remaining empty parcel in the Somerset Square development. Peter Marteka,, "Glastonbury town council, unhappy with architecture, tables vote on town’s third hotel," 10 July 2019 The law does allow municipalities to completely prohibit recreational marijuana dispensaries, but as Livingston indicated, the fear among some is zoning laws allowing retail business in the village will allow a dispensary to operate legally. Hank Beckman,, "La Grange to review local codes in light of state legalizing recreational marijuana," 9 July 2019 That measure, Senate Bill 50, would have overridden local zoning laws to authorize high-density housing near public transit services but was buried in an avalanche of local government opposition. Dan Walters, The Mercury News, "Walters: Bill reduces ballot measure transparency," 19 June 2019 In doing so, Lincolnwood can create the option to impose a tax of up to 3 percent from recreational marijuana sales and place zoning limitations on where it can be sold. Phil Rockrohr,, "Lincolnwood considers legal, zoning options to tax marijuana, limit sales locations," 2 July 2019 There is existing commercial zoned property with a large sign that reads available, ale one block away, why not explore that, and leave this residential area untouched?, "Community News For The Farmington Valley Edition," 28 June 2019

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

19 Jul 2019

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 How to pronounce zone (audio) \

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 How to pronounce zone (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on zone

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with zone

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for zone

Spanish Central: Translation of zone

Nglish: Translation of zone for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of zone for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about zone

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).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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