\ 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

Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Admiral Sean Buck said in a statement Friday that the noose was found in a construction zone off-limits to staff in Rickover Hall, the school's engineering building. CBS News, "Naval Academy probing apparent noose found in school building," 10 Sep. 2019 The driver of a Chevrolet Corvette who was killed in a head-on crash Friday night while passing in a no-passing zone on State Road 44 has been identified as Larry Vandergrift, 76, of Eustis, the Florida Highway Patrol said Monday. Jerry Fallstrom,, "Eustis man, 76, dies in crash while passing in Corvette in no-passing zone, FHP says," 9 Sep. 2019 The port of Brunswick was closed to boat traffic, and a safety zone was established in the sound. John Bacon, USA TODAY, "Rescuers hear 'noises' from inside capsized cargo ship; 4 crew members remain missing," 9 Sep. 2019 The Narwhal’s crew also was tasked with establishing and managing a mile-wide safety zone around the Conception wreckage to keep pleasure craft and other unauthorized vessels from disrupting search and salvage operations. David C. Henley, Daily Pilot, "‘It will live with me forever’: Coast Guard officer recalls 4 days of duty at site of dive boat tragedy," 9 Sep. 2019 The ship channel is currently closed to vessel traffic, with a safety zone of a half mile around the Golden Ray in the sound. Time, "Coast Guard Finds 4 Crew Members Trapped Inside Capsized Cargo Ship in Georgia," 9 Sep. 2019 The event is open to the public and festivities will include German food, live music and a family-fun zone. Record Staff,, "Aberdeen: Run to Remember honors 9/11 victims," 5 Sep. 2019 In particular, during a March 15, 2011, meeting, Power endorsed U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s proposal to establish a no-fly zone over Libya and attack Muammar Qaddafi’s forces. Daniel Bessner, The New Republic, "The Fog of Intervention," 4 Sep. 2019 Aylen said in a series of Twitter posts that their home was several miles inland from the north shore of the island and not in an evacuation zone. Fox News, "Hurricane Dorian stories of survival emerge from devastated Bahamas," 3 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Many of the decisions that affect resiliency are made on a local or state level, including adjusting building codes and zoning laws, regulating local utilities and upgrading storm water systems. Washington Post, "As North Carolina focuses on getting ahead of hurricanes, some residents are hesitant to move," 4 Sep. 2019 An application last year for a poultry farm that would supply Costco spurred officials to examine Lancaster County’s lack of specific zoning laws regarding large livestock operations. USA TODAY, "Moon trees, moon film, monk honored: News from around our 50 states," 23 July 2019 Local leaders should also scrutinize zoning laws and noise ordinances that would forbid air taxis, which are notably quieter than helicopters. Brent Skorup, WSJ, "Your Flying Car Will Be Here Sooner Than You Think," 15 Nov. 2018 Lower Southampton Township zoning officer Bill Oettinger said three people suffered serious injuries — two to their head and one to their back. CBS News, "At least 9 injured when tree falls from lightning strike at Pennsylvania swim club," 18 Aug. 2019 Different sized houses are permitted in different areas of the city, and the square foot reduction applies to all five residential zoning classifications, Bagato said. John Tuohy, Indianapolis Star, "Fishers aims to downsize new homes to meet changing demand," 11 Aug. 2019 One proposal is to release land not originally zoned for housing and to create higher density developments like high-rise buildings. Fortune, "Tiny Luxembourg Is Having a Big Brexit Moment," 10 Aug. 2019 The commission should seek ways to encourage development of entry-level and mid-range housing, with a focus on zoning for denser, urban housing that should be more affordable than single-home suburbs. San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Marcos kicks off general plan update," 26 July 2019 Is the whole area zoned for festivals or just a portion of it? Karen Bliss, Billboard, "Former Trucking Mogul Talks Entering the Concert Biz and Landing The Rolling Stones' Only Canadian Gig," 26 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

13 Sep 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).


to spread over or through

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