a. An area or a region distinguished from adjacent parts by a distinctive feature or characteristic.
b. A section of an area or territory established for a specific purpose, as a section of a city restricted to a particular type of building, enterprise, or activity: a residential zone.
c. An area of a given radius within which a uniform rate is charged, as for transportation or shipping.
a. Any of the five regions of the surface of the earth that are loosely divided according to prevailing climate and latitude, including the tropics, the North and South Temperate Zones, and the North and South Polar Regions.
b. A similar division on any other planet.
c. Mathematics A portion of a sphere bounded by the intersections of two parallel planes with the sphere.
3. Ecology An area characterized by distinct physical conditions and supporting a particular type of flora and fauna.
4. Anatomy A ringlike or cylindrical growth or structure.
5. Geology A region or stratum distinguished by composition or content.
6. Sports A zone defense.
7. Archaic A belt or girdle.
tr.v. zoned, zon·ing, zonesPhrasal Verbs:
1. To divide or designate into zones.
2. To surround or encircle.
To focus or concentrate on something.
zone out InformalIdiom:
To lose concentration or become inattentive.
in the zone
Informal In a state of focused attention or energy so that one's performance is enhanced: a goalie who was in the zone throughout the playoffs.
[Middle English, one of the encircling regions of the earth, from Latin zōna, girdle, celestial zone, from Greek zōnē.]
zonal (zōnəl) adj.
(click for a larger image)zone
A. North Frigid Zone
B. North Temperate Zone
C. Torrid Zone
D. South Temperate Zone
E. South Frigid Zone
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.