zone out

zoned out; zoning out; zones out

Definition of zone out

intransitive verb

: to become oblivious to one's surroundings especially in order to relax zone out in front of the TV

First Known Use of zone out

1982, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for zone out

of uncertain origin

Note: Attested slightly earlier is zoned "intoxicated." Perhaps in part as a counterpart to zoned in "focused," in part after space out, given the relative semantic proximity of space and zone. Note also that zoned is phonetically similar to zonked.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about zone out

Time Traveler for zone out

Time Traveler

The first known use of zone out was in 1982

See more words from the same year

Statistics for zone out

Cite this Entry

“Zone out.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on zone out

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for zone out

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with zone out

Comments on zone out

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!