\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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)

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

When the camera zooms in on her face, she’s framed like a superhero in her origin story. Elena Nicolaou, refinery29.com, "The Handmaid's Tale," 6 June 2019 As successes ebb and flow and alliances strain and stretch, Mechling zooms in on the constrictor knot of adult female friendships. Vogue, "10 New Books to Read This Summer," 31 May 2019 And zoom in on that gif in the middle of them, which just adds to what Josie must be feeling about this situation. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "8 Signs that Archie and Veronica Are Going to Get Back Together on "Riverdale"," 18 Apr. 2019 As her name was called, the cameras zoomed in on her face. Eric Ray Davidson, Glamour, "Kacey Musgraves Isn’t Trying to Please Anybody but Herself," 28 Mar. 2019 Use a nut driver bit or a socket to zoom through assembly work, tightening a bolt head or a nut. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "Cordless Drill/Driver vs Impact Driver: Which Do You Need?," 24 Jan. 2019 Greg Chalmers shot a 7-under 65 on Saturday and zoomed up the leaderboard. Richard Dean, Houston Chronicle, "Greg Chalmers moves up the leaderboard at Houston Open," 31 Mar. 2018 This is what can be called a critical biography: Robbins’s work is front and center, as Ms. Lesser zooms in on a number of musicals and ballets for in-depth analysis. Joel Lobenthal, WSJ, "‘Jerome Robbins: A Life in Dance’ Review: Between Two Traditions," 11 Oct. 2018 Two OceanGate boats, a big UW research towing vessel and a small inflatable craft zoomed in, helping to guide the sub onto a cradle on a barge that is used to tow the submersible around. Katherine Long, The Seattle Times, "In a five-person submarine, scientists in Friday Harbor unravel the mysteries of the Salish Sea," 16 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Look for features like fast start-up and autofocus, high zoom, large sensors, 4k video, and electronic viewfinders. Paige Szmodis, Popular Mechanics, "The 10 Best Compact Digital Cameras for Capturing Your Adventures," 17 Apr. 2019 On that phone, Samsung has built a 24 MP, f/1.7 main lens, with complimentary 10MP zoom, 8 MP 12mm ultrawide, and 5MP depth-sensing lenses. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "Samsung Galaxy S10 renders show hole-punch camera, headphone jack, and no fingerprint sensor," 13 Dec. 2018 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

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.

See More

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



Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about zoom

Statistics for zoom

Last Updated

11 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for zoom

The first known use of zoom was in 1886

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


a device or gadget

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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!