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(especially in city planning) of or relating to the division of an area into , as to restrict the number and types of buildings and their uses:
zoning laws.
any continuous tract or area that differs in some respect, or is distinguished for some purpose, from adjoining tracts or areas, or within which certain distinctive circumstances exist or are established.
Geography. any of five great divisions of the earth’s surface, bounded by lines parallel to the equator and named according to the prevailing temperature.
Compare , , , , .
Biogeography. an area characterized by a particular set of organisms, whose presence is determined by environmental conditions, as an altitudinal belt on a mountain.
Geology. a horizon.
Geometry. a part of the surface of a sphere included between two parallel planes.
a specific district, area, etc., within which a uniform charge is made for transportation, mail delivery, or other service.
the total number of available railroad terminals within a given circumference around a given shipping center.
an area or district in a city or town under special restrictions as to the type, size, purpose, etc., of existing or proposed buildings.
Also called postal delivery zone. (in the U.S. postal system) any of the numbered districts into which a city or metropolitan area was formerly divided for expediting the sorting and delivery of mail.
Sports. a particular portion of a playing area:
The wing was trapped with the puck in his own defensive zone.
Archaic. a girdle or belt; cincture.
to mark with zones or bands.
to divide into zones, tracts, areas, etc., as according to existing characteristics or as distinguished for some purpose.
to divide (a city, town, neighborhood, etc.) into areas subject to special restrictions on any existing or proposed buildings.
to encircle or surround with a zone, girdle, belt, or the like.
to be formed into zones.
Contemporary Examples

Did you see anything in this post about getting rid of zoning regulations?
How Can the Republicans Take Back the Majority? Megan McArdle November 8, 2012

The problem of lack of zoning by the State for construction in the Druze villages is seething under the surface.
The Start of a Druze Intifada? Orly Halpern July 17, 2013

We went through a two-year effort to get the zoning changed to allow us to put 33 solar panels on the roof.
Al Gore Warms Up Lloyd Grove December 8, 2009

zoning boards and city councils often throw up obstacles to expansion.
Getting a Job at Walmart Is Harder than Getting into Harvard Daniel Gross November 18, 2013

So why even make the announcement about planning and zoning if the building phase is never going to arrive?
Bibi Is Bluffing On E1 Michael Koplow December 2, 2012

Historical Examples

This zoning offers no real contradiction of the usual pattern of Pennsylvania migrations.
The Fair Play Settlers of the West Branch Valley, 1769-1784 George D. Wolf

A class is an expression of interest, not the product of statistical distribution based on birth and zoning.
The Civilization of Illiteracy Mihai Nadin

New York has made an elaborate report on the zoning of the city into business, industrial, and residential areas.
Introduction to the Science of Sociology Robert E. Park

The selling-floor location of these utility units determines the zoning system of the warehouses on the tenth.
The Romance of a Great Store Edward Hungerford

Bribery and personal-interest scandals often are rooted in zoning matters.
The Nation’s River United States Department of the Interior

a region, area, or section characterized by some distinctive feature or quality
a sphere of thought, disagreement, argument, etc
an area subject to a particular political, military, or government function, use, or jurisdiction: a demilitarized zone
(often capital) (geography) one of the divisions of the earth’s surface, esp divided into latitudinal belts according to temperature See Torrid Zone, Frigid Zone, Temperate Zone
(geology) a distinctive layer or region of rock, characterized by particular fossils (zone fossils), metamorphism, structural deformity, etc
(ecology) an area, esp a belt of land, having a particular flora and fauna determined by the prevailing environmental conditions
(maths) a portion of a sphere between two parallel planes intersecting the sphere

a mental state that enables a competitor to perform to the best of his or her ability: Hingis is in the zone at the moment
(modifier) of or relating to competitive performance that depends on the mood or state of mind of the participant: a zone player

(archaic or literary) a girdle or belt
(NZ) a section on a transport route; fare stage
(NZ) a catchment area for pupils for a specific school
in the zone, See zone (sense 8)
verb (transitive)
to divide into zones, as for different use, jurisdiction, activities, etc
to designate as a zone
to mark with or divide into zones
(NZ) to establish (an area) as a zone for a specific school

late 14c., from Latin zona “geographical belt, celestial zone,” from Greek zone “a belt,” related to zonnynai “to gird,” from PIE root *yes- “to gird, girdle” (cf. Avestan yasta- “girt,” Lithuanian juosiu “to gird,” Old Church Slavonic po-jasu “girdle”).

Originally one of the five great divisions of the earth’s surface (torrid, temperate, frigid; separated by tropics of Cancer and Capricorn and Arctic and Antarctic circles); meaning “any discrete region” is first recorded 1822. Zone defense in team sports is recorded from 1927. Zoning “land-use planning” is recorded from 1912. Zoned (adj.) in drug-use sense is attested 1960s, from ozone, which is found high in the atmosphere; the related verb to zone is from 1980s.

zoning zon·ing (zō’nĭng)
An unexpectedly strong immunologic reaction in a small amount of serum, probably the result of high antibody titer.

zone (zōn)

An area or a region distinguished from adjacent parts by a distinctive feature or characteristic.

See zona.

A segment.


Any of the five regions of the surface of the Earth that are loosely divided according to prevailing climate and latitude, including the Torrid Zone, the North and South Temperate zones, and the North and South Frigid zones.

Ecology An area characterized by distinct physical conditions and populated by communities of certain kinds of organisms.

Mathematics A portion of a sphere bounded by the intersections of two parallel planes with the sphere.

Anatomy An area or a region distinguished from adjacent parts by a distinctive feature or characteristic.

Geology A region or stratum distinguished by composition or content.

The establishment by local governments of districts that are restricted to various types of manufacturing, commercial, or residential use.


A very strange person, esp one with a vacant, corpselike manner; weirdo (1930s+ Students)
n unresponsive person; a mentally numb or dead person: My students are all zombies this term (1936+)

[origin uncertain; perhaps fr an African word akin to nzambi, ”god”; perhaps fr Louisiana Creole, ”phantom, ghost,” fr Spanish sombra, ”shade, ghost”; popularized by horror stories and movies featuring the walking dead persons of voodoo belief]


Read Also:

  • Zonipetal

    zonipetal zonipetal zo·nip·e·tal (zō-nĭp’ĭ-tl) adj. Passing into a region from without.

  • Zonite

    a body segment of a diplopod.

  • Zonk

    to become unconscious from alcohol or narcotic drugs; pass out. to fall soundly asleep or relax completely: I’ve got to go home and zonk out. to stupefy, as by alcohol or narcotic drugs. to sedate or anesthetize: If the pain gets too bad the doctors will zonk you. to strike or defeat soundly; knock out; […]

  • Zonk out

    verb (intransitive, adverb) (slang) to fall asleep, esp from physical exhaustion or the effects of alcohol or drugs v,v phr To lose consciousness, esp from alcohol or narcotics; fall asleep; become stuporous: He suddenly zonked and went rigid (1968+) To strike a stupefying blow; clobber: ”We’ve been zonked,” said Jim Robbins (1950+) [fr zonked]

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