\ ˈzüm How to pronounce zoom (audio) \
zoomed; zooming; zooms

Definition of zoom

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to move with a loud low hum or buzz
b : to go speedily : zip cars zooming by on the highway
2 of an airplane : to climb for a short time at an angle greater than that which can be maintained in steady flight so that the machine is carried upward at the expense of stored kinetic energy
3a : to focus a camera or microscope on an object using a zoom lens so that the object's apparent distance from the observer changes often used with in or out
b : focus, zero used with in trying to zoom in on the cause of these problems
4 : to increase sharply retail sales zoomed

transitive verb

: to cause to zoom



Definition of zoom (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : an act or process of zooming especially : a sharp upward movement
b : an image created by zooming
2 : a zooming sound
3 : a means of producing an enlarged image (as in a camera) specifically : zoom lens

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Synonyms for zoom

Synonyms: Verb

bumble, burr, buzz, drone, hum, whir (also whirr), whish, whiz (or whizz), zip

Synonyms: Noun

burr, buzz, chirr, churr, drone, hum, purr, thrum, whir (also whirr), whiz (or whizz)

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Examples of zoom in a Sentence


They got in the car and zoomed away. The group of bicycle racers zoomed past. After her first successful cases she zoomed to the top of her profession. Housing sales have zoomed in recent months.


The camera was equipped with a zoom. The truck went by with a zoom.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Beto O’Rourke zoomed across eastern Iowa this weekend, snatching attention and spurring fundraising appeals from others in the Democratic presidential field. Ken Thomas, WSJ, "As Beto O’Rourke Soaks Up Attention, Rival Democrats Appeal for Funds," 17 Mar. 2019 Needless to say, fans were super-quick to zoom in on that little four-letter L-word. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Lili Reinhart Wishes Cole Sprouse a Happy Birthday on Instagram," 4 Aug. 2018 To zoom in, Syngenta teams the satellite with drone technology. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "This Agriculture Giant Is Bringing in the Drones to Modernize Farming From Cornfields to Vineyards," 19 June 2018 Click or tap the camera icons to zoom in on a section. Carl Swanson, The Cut, "The Store (It Would Seem) Is Not Dead (at Least for Now)," 16 May 2018 Day Two Stay in the park’s parameters and whip out binoculars (Maven makes a great pair) to zoom in on pronghorn antelope running wild. Jenn Rice, Vogue, "Inside a Three-Day Trek Through the Serengeti of North America," 21 Apr. 2018 According to Stab magazine, the organization has asked broadcasters filming its events not to zoom in on competitors and in particular to avoid close-ups of female surfers wearing high-cut bikini bottoms. Dan Cancian, Newsweek, "Broadcasters Told to Stop Perving on Female Surfers," 14 Mar. 2018 Once users are looking at photos, the Photo Sleuth allows them to analyze photos in close detail with pan and zoom controls, allowing them get as good as look as is possible over a computer to see if there's any resemblance, family or otherwise. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "AI Could Help You Identify Civil War Vets in Your Family Tree," 4 Mar. 2019 The spacecraft will swoop close to the sun in November of 2018 and, over the course of seven years and many orbits, will take periodic close-ups of the sun and zoom by Venus several times. Elizabeth Howell, Space.com, "Here Comes the Sun! Parker Solar Probe Instruments See 'First Light'," 25 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The security cameras in the other courtrooms and elsewhere inside the courthouse do not have zoom, tilt or pan capabilities, according to the documents. Mike Carter, The Seattle Times, "Sheriff’s use of courtroom camera to view juror’s notebook, lawyer’s notes sparks dismissal of criminal case," 4 Feb. 2019 In my testing, the RX100’s zoom and lowlight performance separated it most from my phone. David Pierce, WSJ, "This Camera Crushes Your Phone—and Still Fits in Your Pocket," 29 July 2018 Most outlets seem to think Apple’s third lens would be used for an enhanced zoom. Ashley Carman, The Verge, "Rumors hint future iPhone X could have three cameras on the back," 1 June 2018 Oppo promised the first 10x zoom phone would arrive in the second quarter of this year. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "Oppo's phone tech goes futuristic with 5G and a 10X lossless zoom camera," 23 Feb. 2019 Further Reading HP updates Spectre x360 2-in-1s with webcam privacy switch, more battery life The glass Precision trackpad is smooth and fine for Windows gestures like pinch-to-zoom. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Acer Swift 7 review: Thinness above all else demands many compromises," 8 Nov. 2018 Both models use the same camera and microphone systems: a four-mic array with 360-degree beamforming input and a 12-megapixel camera with a 140-degree field of view and up to 8x digital zoom. Dan Seifert, The Verge, "Facebook Portal review: trust fail," 8 Nov. 2018 This one really has it all: Broadway-level choreography and costumes, a sock puppet show, Harvey Korman dancing alone in an empty bowling alley, and the real-life version of that dreamy zoom-in effect on Instagram stories. Liz Arcury, Marie Claire, "The 8 Best Celebrity Holiday Specials Ever," 29 Nov. 2018 Photo: David Pierce/The Wall Street Journal Sony did make a significant concession to get this much zoom. David Pierce, WSJ, "This Camera Crushes Your Phone—and Still Fits in Your Pocket," 29 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'zoom.' 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 zoom


1886, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


1917, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for zoom



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Learn More about zoom

Statistics for zoom

Last Updated

16 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for zoom

The first known use of zoom was in 1886

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More Definitions for zoom



English Language Learners Definition of zoom

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to move quickly
: to move quickly upward
informal : to increase suddenly



English Language Learners Definition of zoom (Entry 2 of 2)

informal : the loud sound of a vehicle that is moving very fast


\ ˈzüm How to pronounce zoom (audio) \
zoomed; zooming

Kids Definition of zoom

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to move quickly often with a loud low hum or buzz He … spun the truck around and zoomed off …— Oliver Butterworth, The Enormous Egg
2 : to move upward quickly The airplane zoomed into the sky. His new song zoomed to the top of the sales charts.



Kids Definition of zoom (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act or process of moving quickly along or upwards
2 : a loud low humming or buzzing sound The truck went by with a zoom.

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More from Merriam-Webster on zoom

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with zoom

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for zoom

Spanish Central: Translation of zoom

Nglish: Translation of zoom for Spanish Speakers

Comments on zoom

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


to move or proceed with twists and turns

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