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[zoh-on] /ˈzoʊ ɒn/
noun, plural zoa
[zoh-uh] /ˈzoʊ ə/ (Show IPA).
Biology Rare.
any of the individuals of a compound organism.
any individual, or the individuals collectively, produced from a single egg.
Origin of zoon
1860-65; < New Latin zōon < Greek zôion animal
Related forms
[zoh-uh-nl] /ˈzoʊ ə nl/ (Show IPA),


a combining form meaning “animal,” “organism” of the kind specified by the initial element, often corresponding to zoological class names ending in -zoa, with -zoon, used to name a single member of such a class:
see zoon Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for zoon
Historical Examples
  • Zoology is formed from two Greek words: zoon, meaning animal, and logos, meaning discourse.

  • This is what prompted Felix Hausdorf to define the human being as zoon semeiotikon- semiotic animal, sign-using animal.

  • Zummat occurred betwixt us, and Phil was zoon on the ground under me.

  • Simply put, the qualifiers political animal (zoon politikon) and speaking animal (zoon phonanta) are tightly connected.

  • Thee zhut thee eyes an' walk about a bit, an' thee'll zoon get down!

  • En er geschiedde eene stem nit de hemelen: gij zijt mijn geliefde zoon, in denwelken Ik mijn welbehagen heb!

    The English Language Robert Gordon Latham
  • I think it was the zoon of a cicada which waked my attention, and once I heard them they seemed to fill the air with shrieking.

    Old Plymouth Trails Winthrop Packard
  • Lay hold on the poor devil, right end foremost, zoon as I have stopped uns praching.

    Cripps, the Carrier R. D. (Richard Doddridge) Blackmore
  • As with the Greeks, there is now a wish to make man a zoon politicon, a citizen of the State or political man.

    The Ego and His Own Max Stirner
British Dictionary definitions for zoon


noun (pl) zoa (ˈzəʊə), zoons
a less common term for zooid (sense 1)
Derived Forms
zoonal, adjective
Word Origin
C19: from New Latin, from Greek zōion animal; related to Greek zōē life


combining form
indicating an individual animal or an independently moving entity derived from an animal: spermatozoon
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
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Word Origin and History for zoon

1864, from Greek zoion "animal" (see zoo).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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zoon in Medicine

-zoon suff.
Animal; independently moving organic unit: spermatozoon.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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