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the 26th letter of the English alphabet, a consonant.
any spoken sound represented by the letter Z or z, as in zero, zigzag, or buzzer.
something having the shape of a Z .
a written or printed representation of the letter Z or z.
a device, as a printer’s type, for reproducing the letter Z or z.
Astronomy. zenith distance.
the 26th in order or in a series, or, when I is omitted, the 25th.
(sometimes lowercase) the medieval Roman numeral for 2000.
Compare .
Chemistry, Physics. atomic number.
Electricity, .
an unknown quantity or variable.
(in Cartesian coordinates) the z- axis.
Symbol, Physics. Z-zero particle.
sleep (often used with grab, catch, etc.):
to grab some z’s before dinner.
the sixth letter of the Greek alphabet (Z, ζ).
the consonant sound represented by this letter.
Contemporary Examples

z is for the zeitgeist: Will the Times still be for Obama once the costs begin to kick in?
Health Care: A Critic’s Index Tunku Varadarajan December 24, 2009

Jay z and Beyoncé built a brand based on the illusion of a perfect life.
Are Jay Z and Beyoncé Still Perfect? Kevin Fallon May 13, 2014

X consists of several X-rated images and self-portraits; Y, the floral pictures; and z, images of black males.
Robert Mapplethorpe in Los Angeles: Exhibitions at the Getty and LACMA Isabel Wilkinson November 4, 2012

What do ‘World War z,’ Kate Upton in Sports Illustrated, and Gabrielle Union have in common?
The Cult of Canada Goose Keli Goff December 22, 2013

Representatives for Jay z and Solange have not responded to our request for comment.
The Video of Solange Attacking Jay Z Is Deeply Upsetting and Also Fantastic Kevin Fallon May 11, 2014

Historical Examples

The last case arises when we consider the finite values of z for which the polynomial coefficient of sn vanishes.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 11, Slice 3 Various

Moreover, who with a name commencing with z, ever wrote fables in Armenian?
The Romany Rye George Borrow

Here, it is probable that A may have conceived that he had z’s implied consent to use z’s books.
Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay George Otto Trevelyan

“Two” often appears as z in the early printed books, 12 appearing as iz.
The Hindu-Arabic Numerals David Eugene Smith

The river once crossed, they had only before them, from k to z, slopes which were practicable to debouch on the plateau of Chancy.
History of Julius Caesar Vol. 2 of 2 Napoleon III, Emperor of the French, 1808-1873.

the z-axis or a coordinate measured along the z-axis in a Cartesian or cylindrical coordinate system
an algebraic variable
noun (pl) z’s, Z’s, Zs
the 26th and last letter and the 20th consonant of the modern English alphabet
a speech sound represented by this letter, in English usually a voiced alveolar fricative, as in zip

something shaped like a Z
(in combination): a Z-bend in a road

any unknown, variable, or unspecified factor, number, person, or thing
(chem) atomic number
(physics) impedance
(currency) zaïre
Zambia (international car registration)
the sixth letter in the Greek alphabet (Ζ, ζ), a consonant, transliterated as z
(foll by the genitive case of a specified constellation) the sixth brightest star in a constellation: Zeta Tauri
a torus-shaped apparatus used for research in the 1950s and early 1960s on controlled thermonuclear reactions and plasma physics

not a native letter in Old English; in Anglo-French words it represents the “ts” sound (e.g. Anglo-French fiz, from Latin filius, modern Fitz); from late 13c. it began to be used for the voiced “s” sound and had fully taken that role by 1400. For letter name, see zed.

Thou whoreson Zed, thou vnnecessary Letter. [“King Lear,” II.ii.69]

Series of zs to represent a buzzing sound first attested 1852; zees “spell of sleep, a nap” is slang first recorded 1963, American English student slang.

Greek letter, see zed.

zeta ze·ta (zā’tə, zē’-)

Symbol ζ The sixth letter of the Greek alphabet.


Yes; certainly; right: Don’t say ”yeah.” It’s common (1905+)

Related Terms

oh yeah


A thief or burglar, esp an itinerant thief or safecracker

[1903+ Underworld; origin unknown; said to be fr the name of John Yegg, a Swedish tramp and safebreaker; perhaps fr German Jager, ”huntsman,” applied to a safecracker’s advance scouts, but originally yeggman]

/zed/ 1. (After Zermelo-Fränkel set theory) A specification language developed by the Programming Research Group at Oxford University around 1980. Z is used for describing and modelling computing systems. It is based on axiomatic set theory and first order predicate logic. Z is written using many non-ASCII symbols. It was used in the IBM CICS project.
See also Z++.
[“Understanding Z”, J.M. Spivey, Cambridge U Press 1988].
2. A stack-based, complex arithmetic simulation language from ZOLA Technologies.
atomic number
zenith distance
zero energy thermonuclear assembly
see: from soup to nuts (a to z)


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