\ 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 intrying 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

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of zoom in a Sentence

Verb 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. Noun The camera was equipped with a zoom. The truck went by with a zoom.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Pixel 4, though, is rumored to have a second camera, a telephoto lens capable of zooming in on subjects. Jordan Valinsky, CNN, "The Pixel 4 is coming. Google announces October 15 event," 16 Sep. 2019 Capture the sun rising above the crater wall, and zoom in on flocks of flamingos, bathing hippos, large herds of zebras, prancing antelope, elusive rhinos, and lions resting up for the nighttime hunt. National Geographic, "Tanzania Photography Workshop," 10 Sep. 2019 Last year, Chicago Police released edited video without audio of a police shooting in which some scenes are paused, cropped and zoomed in on, giving the viewer a different experience of what happened than someone who was there at the time. Austen Erblat, sun-sentinel.com, "South Florida police department is latest to equip cops with body cameras," 10 Sep. 2019 The camera zooms in on Hadid standing in a darkened room, and the shadows on the wall behind her suggest an imaginary train station. Emma Grey Ellis, WIRED, "You Are Already Having Sex With Robots," 23 Aug. 2019 Even if an app isn’t coded to allow for direct voice navigation, users will be able to break down the screen into a numbered grid to zoom in on a specific area. Dieter Bohn, The Verge, "iPadOS public beta preview: worthy of the new name," 24 June 2019 And, of course, this is exactly what the con man sees and zooms in on and goes after, to satisfy that need. Janet Kinosian, latimes.com, "In 'Dirty John,' Connie Britton taps into the hunger for love behind the red flags," 18 June 2019 This technique lets scientists zoom in on nanoscale details with ordinary microscopes. Quanta Magazine, "A Neurobiologist Thinks Big — and Small," 18 Jan. 2018 On Saturday, the sparks zooming from Thayer's Flying V were timed to take out several octagon video screens resembling UFOs. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "Once more, with bombast: Kiss delivers bold farewell to Indianapolis," 1 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The flagship feature, probably exclusive to the iPhone Pro models, will be greatly improved optical zoom and low-light photography, as well as the capability to take much wider-angle photos. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "What to expect from Apple’s September 10 “By Innovation Only” event," 5 Sep. 2019 Another double blink de-activates the zoom and sets vision back to normal. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "These Contact Lenses Zoom In and Out with the (Double) Blink of an Eye," 29 July 2019 Administration officials were finalizing aspects of Thursday's schedule, according to a senior White House official, including the plan to have one of the planes in Air Force One's fleet zoom overhead as Trump takes the stage that night. The Washington Post, oregonlive.com, "Park Service diverting $2.5 million in fees to pay for Trump’s expanded July Fourth," 3 July 2019 The iPhone 11 Pro adds a third, telephoto camera (2x zoom) with a 52mm f/2.0 lens. Wired, "How to Pick the Right iPhone 11 and Where to Preorder It," 12 Sep. 2019 Additionally, the system is not equipped with license plate reader technology, facial recognition or pan-tilt-zoom capabilities. Elizabeth Marie Himchak, Pomerado News, "Learn about City of San Diego’s Smart Streetlight program on Tuesday," 4 Sep. 2019 Apple gave the iPhone’s second camera a telephoto lens, offering further zoom capabilities and enabling portrait mode; but lately, phone makers have been adding ultra-wide lenses, to let their devices capture even more of a scene at once. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "Everything we think we know about the Pixel 4, from Google’s Pixel 4 reveal," 13 June 2019 What the iPhone 11 lacks is the brighter, sharper, HDR screen and the telephoto (2x zoom) camera of the Pro models. Wired, "How to Pick the Right iPhone 11 and Where to Preorder It," 12 Sep. 2019 Her editing, which features close-up zooms, abrupt intercuts of her outtakes, liberal sound effects, and behind-the-scenes shots of her editing in her bed, has pioneered a new style, spawning a whole subgenre of YouTube mimicry. Rebecca Nelson, Marie Claire, "The Emma Chamberlain Effect," 26 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for zoom

Last Updated

15 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for zoom

The first known use of zoom was in 1886

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More Definitions for zoom


How to pronounce zoom (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for zoom

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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 spread as a report or rumor

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