I. ze ‧ ro 1 /ˈzɪərəʊ $ ˈziːroʊ/ BrE AmE number ( plural zeros or zeroes )
[ Date: 1600-1700 ; Language: French ; Origin: zéro , from Arabic sifr 'empty, nothing' ]
1 . the number 0 SYN nought British English :
Make x greater than or equal to zero.
2 . the point between + and – on a scale for measuring something, or the lowest point on a scale that shows how much there is left of something:
The petrol gauge was already at zero.
3 . a temperature of 0º on the Celsius or Fahrenheit scale
It was five degrees below zero last night.
⇨ ↑ absolute zero , ↑ sub-zero
4 . none at all, or the lowest possible amount
sb’s chances are zero (=they have no chance of success)
Mike’s chances of winning are virtually zero.
From 1971 to 1976 West Vancouver experienced zero population growth.
• • •
▪ zero the number 0. Also used when saying there is nothing at all:
A million is written as one followed by six zeros.
a temperature of zero degrees
Our chances of success are virtually zero.
▪ nil British English zero - used especially in the results of sports games:
United won the game three-nil.
In rural areas, employment opportunities are almost nil.
▪ nought British English spoken zero – used in calculations and figures:
It has increased by nought point seven five per cent (=0.75%) .
▪ O used to say the number 0 like the letter O:
The code for Oxford is 0 one eight six five (=01865) .
II. zero 2 BrE AmE verb
zero in on somebody/something phrasal verb
1 . to direct all your attention towards a particular person or thing SYN home in on :
She immediately zeroed in on the weak point in his argument.
2 . to aim a gun or other weapon towards something or someone