\ ˈzüm \
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

Or pinch-and-zoom to see if there's fishing wire suspending them in midair. Candace Braun Davison, House Beautiful, "Watch These 'Magical' Brooms Glide On Their Own," 11 Oct. 2018 Not long after the backlash ensued, Calvin Klein issued an official statement to Insider, in which the apparel giant attempted to explain the bizarre image by providing its own zoomed-in high-resolution image. Dan Barna, Allure, "Calvin Klein Says Kourtney Kardashian Was Not a Victim of a "Photoshop Fail"," 3 Aug. 2018 But in another zoomed-in photo attached to the post, the health organization replaced the poppy seeds with tiny bugs. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "CDC apologizes after 'gross' poppy seed muffin post about ticks goes viral," 8 May 2018 Those who need extra screen space and want the dual camera setup for taking photos in Portrait Mode and with better zooming capabilities should opt for the Plus model. Lisa Eadicicco, Time, "The 5 Best Smartphones You Can Buy Right Now," 25 Jan. 2018 Ingram and rookie running back Alvin Kamara emerged as a boom-and-zoom backfield, the first duo to each top 1,500 scrimmage yards in a single season, good enough for the Saints to trade away Peterson after only four games with the team. Christopher Dabe, NOLA.com, "Saints' win puts them against Vikings again, this time with an identity," 8 Jan. 2018 Housing prices in medium-size cities, which drive the nation’s iron-ore and copper demand, are zooming along, rising nearly 10% in October, the fastest pace since at least 2010. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "Commodity Woes Run Deeper Than China," 28 Nov. 2018 After InSight landed, the two experimental satellites zoomed past Mars, their main job done. Marcia Dunn, The Seattle Times, "Mars touchdown: NASA spacecraft survives supersonic plunge," 28 Nov. 2018 But the main feature Facebook is touting is a video-calling service, which automatically zooms, pans and focuses as people move around the room. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Why Google is shutting down Google+, Facebook’s tone-deaf camera device," 9 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Her pout is partially covered in the pic, but a quick zoom reveals that Kylie might have abandoned her no-injections streak already. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Wait... Did Kylie Jenner Get Lip Fillers Again?!," 26 July 2018 Point-n-shoots with super zooms are not going to easily fit in your pocket. Cassie Armstrong, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Camera Day: How to observe in Central Florida," 29 June 2018 Local providers including Duke Energy and Southern are deploying aerial gear fitted with infrared and high-zoom sensors that can inspect substations, locate malfunctioning solar panels and even help to restring power lines. Naureen S. Malik, The Seattle Times, "Drones ready to swoop in for Florence power recovery," 17 Sep. 2018 The camera system would also potentially allow for better optical zoom than on a smartphone like the iPhone. Brooke Crothers, Fox News, "A US start-up is trying to reimagine the smartphone," 6 July 2018 The P21 Pro flagship from Huawei is the first to include three lenses: one color, one monochrome (to help with depth and lowlight situations), and one 3x zoom. Geoffrey Fowler, courant.com, "Future Phones: They Fold Like Napkins, Have 9 Cameras, Charge Over Thin Air," 6 July 2018 Digital zoom just crops and enlarges the photo, making your photo look fuzzy and dull. Wired Staff, WIRED, "How to Take Awesome Photos of Fireworks," 3 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

8 Jan 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

: to increase suddenly



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

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


\ ˈzüm \
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

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a person who helps groups work together

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