verb (used without object)
to move quickly or suddenly with a loud humming or buzzing sound: cars zooming by on the freeway.
to fly an airplane suddenly and sharply upward at great speed for a short distance, as in regaining altitude, clearing an obstacle, or signaling.
Movies, Television. to bring a subject, scene, etc., into closeup or cause it to recede into a long shot using a zoom lens and while maintaining focus.
Informal. to increase or rise suddenly and sharply: Rents would zoom without rent control laws.
verb (used with object)
to cause (an airplane) to zoom.
to fly over (an obstacle) by zooming.
the act or process of zooming.
a zooming sound.
Informal. zoom lens.
Also called zoom shot. Movies, Television. a shot in which a subject, scene, or action is brought closer or made to recede by the use of a zoom lens.
Verb phrases
zoom in (on)
to bring (a subject, scene, etc.) into closeup by using a zoom lens: to zoom in for a look at the injured man; to zoom in on a candidate at a political convention.
to examine more closely or in greater detail; focus on: The panel zoomed in on the subject of abortion.

1885–90; imitative

1. buzz, speed, streak, flash.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
zoom (zuːm)
1.  to make or cause to make a continuous buzzing or humming sound
2.  to move or cause to move with such a sound
3.  (intr) to move very rapidly; rush: we zoomed through town
4.  to cause (an aircraft) to climb briefly at an unusually steep angle, or (of an aircraft) to climb in this way
5.  (intr) (of prices) to rise rapidly
6.  the sound or act of zooming
7.  See zoom lens
[C20: of imitative origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1886, of echoic origin. Gained popularity c.1917 as aviators began to use it; zoom lens is 1936.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

zoom definition

To show a smaller area of an image at a higher magnification ("zoom in") or a larger area at a lower magnification ("zoom out"), as though using a zoom lense on a camera.
Unlike in an optical system, zooming in on a computer image does not necessarily increase the amount of detail displayed since this is limited by what is actually stored in the image. Similarly, you cannot zoom out beyond the full size of the image.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
Use the controls to zoom in and move around the image.
She would zoom in on them, focus right on their face.
First, note that the chart is crafted to zoom in on how this percentage has
  changed since before the recession.
If you zoom in, you can make out the embankment of the road and the break where
  the culverts run underneath it.
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