Try Our Apps


What is the origin of "February"?


[zoo] /zu/
noun, plural zoos.
Also called zoological garden. a parklike area in which live animals are kept in cages or large enclosures for public exhibition.
Informal. a place, activity, or group marked by chaos or unrestrained behavior.
Origin of zoo
1840-50; first two syllables of zoological garden taken as one syllable


a combining form meaning “living being,” “animal,” used in the formation of compound words:
zoometry; zooplankton.
Also, especially before a vowel, zo-.
combining form representing Greek zôion animal Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for zoo
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for zoo


noun (pl) zoos
a place where live animals are kept, studied, bred, and exhibited to the public Formal term zoological garden
Word Origin
C19: shortened from zoological gardens (originally applied to those in London)


combining form
indicating animals: zooplankton
Word Origin
from Greek zōion animal
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for zoo

c.1847, short for Zoological Gardens of the London Zoological Society, established 1828 in Regent's Park to house the society's collection of wild animals. From comb. form of Greek zoion "an animal," literally "a living being," from PIE root *gwei- "to live, life" (cf. Greek bios "life," Old English cwicu "living;" see bio-). Slang meaning "crowded and chaotic place" first recorded 1935.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
zoo in Medicine

zoo- or zo-
Animal; animal kingdom: zoonosis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for zoo


adj,adj phr

  1. Intoxicated by narcotics or alcohol; high, stoned: zonked, one step past being stoned/ Either while I was still zonked out or in the shower (1960s+ Narcotics)
  2. Very enthusiastic; excited; high: Rene Carpenter remembers Gilruth as ''a kindly, wonderful man who was zonked on this project'' (1970s+)
  3. Exhausted; beat, pooped: After just an hour of that I was zonked (1972+)

[echoic of a heavy blow; a 1929 Bookman article on sound effects is entitled ''Socko, Whamo, and Sonk!'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
zoo in Technology
tool, file format
A data compression program and format by Rahul Dhesi. Zoo is reported to use the same Lempel Ziv algorithm as LHA. It is available for many platforms and source is available. .zoo archives are handled by many other PC archiving programs.
Version 2.10 was released in 1989. Search the web for zoo210 to obtain an executable.
Description (
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
Cite This Source
Related Abbreviations for zoo


zoological garden
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with zoo


see: it's a zoo
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for zoo

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for zoo

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for zoo