\ 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

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Examples of zone in a Sentence

Noun at that point we were out of the danger zone for avalanches Verb The town council voted to zone the area for industrial use.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The locals went through a 14-day quarantine, and everyone inside the safe zone has passed several coronavirus tests. Mark Heim |, al, "UFC 251 on Fight Island (7/11) live stream: Time, odds, How to watch Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal online," 11 July 2020 During the league’s suspension, Bowness talked about the Stars generating more time in the offensive zone. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, "4 roster questions the Stars face heading into training camp: Can Taylor Fedun push for playing time?," 11 July 2020 Mostly to partly sunny skies prevail, and temperatures again head into the near 90 to mid-90s zone. Ian Livingston, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Heat keeps on coming into next week," 11 July 2020 The zone, deemed a police-free area by protesters, was dismantled at the order of Durkan at the start of the month after two teenagers were killed. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "Majority of Seattle City Council supports plan to cut police budget in half," 10 July 2020 Mind-numbing heat will reach the danger zone for at least the next week, bringing with it no chance of rain and the strong likelihood of outdoor watering restrictions across the San Antonio area. Taylor Pettaway,, "By the weekend, San Antonio weather will be in full meltdown," 8 July 2020 The goal is to apply enough water to supply water to wet the entire root zone. oregonlive, "Ask an expert: No easy answer to common question of “how much water does my garden need”," 5 July 2020 The shock of the first shooting, Slate said, was that people in the CHOP had expected paramedics to enter the zone if someone was seriously hurt. Samantha Guff, CNN, "They envisioned a world without police. Inside Seattle's CHOP zone, protesters struggled to make it real," 5 July 2020 Seattle police clashed with protesters after being attacked with rocks, bottles and fireworks overnight Thursday in the now cleared Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone. Robert Gearty, Fox News, "Seattle police arrest 10 after clashes in cleared CHOP zone," 4 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Landon has already reached an agreement with the city to zone the tract. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "Part of Frisco’s Brinkmann Ranch sells for $1 billion development," 1 June 2020 The property is already zoned for more than 300 apartment units, Pitchford said. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "New Uptown Dallas skyscraper is in the works on Maple Avenue," 24 Apr. 2020 Unfortunately, their property was no longer zoned for zoos. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "The Zoo That Divided a Town," 14 Mar. 2020 Baile said there are several applicants before the BZA whose projects are currently zoned conditional use, but would be marked as nonconforming if the commissioners approve the update. Mary Grace Keller,, "Residents request changes to county rezoning before commissioners vote, cite concerns for future development," 7 Oct. 2019 There were these two streets that were adjacent to the middle-class, predominantly white part of town to get zoned into the middle-class school. Kevin Powell, Washington Post, "The Power of Stacey Abrams," 14 May 2020 But that price dropped to $150,000 in September 2019, after multiple attempts to get the property zoned for residential development failed. Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Developer has new housing proposal for land near Germantown's Kinderberg Park after previous plan was rejected," 6 Mar. 2020 Within the plan there is already enough land zoned for multi-family to meet the need for additional housing. oregonlive, "Portland Commissioner Position 2 candidates explain what city policy changes they’ll immediately support if elected," 25 Apr. 2020 The star also owed $170,000 in back rent for the recording studio on North Justine Street in Chicago, on top of fines levied by Cook County for illegally using a building zoned for manufacturing as a living space. Jim Derogatis, Billboard, "Jim DeRogatis' 'Soulless: The Case Against R. Kelly': Exclusive Book Excerpt," 23 May 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Nissan says the rear seat offers more kneeroom and headroom, and there are additional niceties for passengers, including optional rear-window sunshades and tri-zone climate control on higher trims. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, "2021 Nissan Rogue Looks Like a Big Improvement," 15 June 2020

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


borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin zōna "belt, girdle, imaginary band encircling the earth," borrowed from Greek zṓnē, going back to Indo-European *i̯eh3s-neh2, whence also, with stem variation, Russian Church Slavic pojasnĭ "belt," Sanskrit rā́snā "girdle" (*yā́snā crossed with raśanā́ "rope, bridle, girth"); derivative from a verbal base *i̯eh3s- "encircle, girdle," whence, with various stem formatives, Old Church Slavic pojašǫ, pojasati "to gird," Lithuanian júosiu, júosti, Albanian ngjesh- "gird, encircle, compress," Greek zṓnnȳmi, aorist ézōsa "(I) gird(ed)"; from a verbal adjective in *-t- Lithuanian júosta "band, zone," Greek zōstós "belted, girded," Avestan yāsta-


derivative of zone entry 1


from attributive use of zone entry 1

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Time Traveler for zone

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for zone

Last Updated

1 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Zone.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for zone


How to pronounce zone (audio)

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.


\ ˈzōn How to pronounce zone (audio) \

Medical Definition of zone

1 : an encircling anatomical structure
2 : a region or area set off as distinct

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for zone

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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