\ 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 An estimated 450,000 people live inside a 14-mile danger zone around the volcano, and about 8,000 people were being evacuated Sunday and Monday, trudging or driving through wet ash coating the streets. TheWeek, "Volcanic eruption in the Philippines prompts mass evacuations, state of calamity," 13 Jan. 2020 The volcano island is considered a permanent danger zone. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "Philippines volcano spews ash, prompting evacuations and airport closure," 12 Jan. 2020 Such strong winds are a key concern in an area at greatest risk: A zone that includes parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas, the Storm Prediction Center warned. Jeff Martin, Fox News, "Tornadoes hit Missouri, Oklahoma, as severe storms move east," 12 Jan. 2020 Under the island’s northern coast, the North American plate plunges under the Caribbean plate in a subduction zone. National Geographic, "Why so many earthquakes are rocking Puerto Rico," 11 Jan. 2020 Dominic Cummings, the prime minister’s chief adviser, has called it a disaster zone. The Economist, "Not just HS2, but HS3," 9 Jan. 2020 Reports released Thursday from the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office revealed Larry G. Williams, 29, was also driving more than 90 mph in a 25-mph zone on West Townsend Street. Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Driver in Townsend Street crash that killed four was under the influence of methamphetamine, medical examiner says," 9 Jan. 2020 Run, Jump & Play • Has an indoor playground with basketball hoops, slides, swings, an inflatable open play area and a toddler zone. Charles Infosino,, "Indoor playgrounds in Greater Cincinnati perfect for the family in winter months," 7 Jan. 2020 For more information, visit Planet Fitness opening soon in New Caney Planet Fitness, a national gym company focused on making a non-judgment zone, is opening a new location in New Caney. Savannah Mehrtens, Houston Chronicle, "Roundups: Kingwood Family Vision Center expands to Atascocita, Planet Fitness debuts in New Caney," 4 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The area, on the edge of the Menomonee Valley, is zoned for heavy industry, a classification that prohibits recreation facilities. Rick Romell, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A "fowling" center - a cross between football and bowling - is proposed for Milwaukee," 27 Dec. 2019 Despite the presence of homes, the area is zoned for general business. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, "Primrose plans to build new preschool in Strongsville," 16 Dec. 2019 The land was originally zoned for industrial development, but has been rezoned for a multifamily community. David Lyons,, "Nearly 1,400 apartments to rise near planned American Dream Miami, the nation’s biggest mall," 12 Dec. 2019 The site that Chesterton is proposing, the Wild River Office Park, is zoned business park / industrial; schools are not allowed in that zoning district. Mary Divine, Twin Cities, "Stillwater officials to consider Catholic high school proposal," 2 Dec. 2019 In San Francisco, 75% of the land is zoned not to allow anything denser than a duplex. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Apple wants affordable housing in California—but laws stand in the way," 4 Nov. 2019 And between half and three-quarters of the developable land in much of the state is zoned only for single-family housing, according to a recent survey by UC Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation. Los Angeles Times, "How lawmakers are upending the California lifestyle to fight a housing shortage," 10 Oct. 2019 The house sat empty for several years, as lawsuits and zoning squabbles played out., "But on the second floor, once home to the brothers of Alpha Delta, there are men and women tapping out e-mails, taking conference calls, and huddling for meetings.," 25 Sep. 2019 The power plant property is zoned for a mix of open space and visitor-serving commercial uses, possibly a hotel or tourist attraction. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Man pushes preservation of 400-foot-tall coastal smokestack," 8 Sep. 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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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

18 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Zone.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 27 January 2020.

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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


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.

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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

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

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).


one that suddenly gains wealth or power

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