Meaning of ZERO in English

I. ˈzē-(ˌ)rō, ˈzir-(ˌ)ō noun

( plural zeros also zeroes )

Etymology: French or Italian; French zéro, from Italian zero, from Medieval Latin zephirum, from Arabic ṣifr

Date: 1598


a. : the arithmetical symbol 0 or Ø denoting the absence of all magnitude or quantity

b. : additive identity ; specifically : the number between the set of all negative numbers and the set of all positive numbers

c. : a value of an independent variable that makes a function equal to zero

+2 and -2 are zero s of f(x)=x 2 -4

2. — see number table



(1) : the point of departure in reckoning ; specifically : the point from which the graduation of a scale (as of a thermometer) begins

(2) : the temperature represented by the zero mark on a thermometer

b. : the setting or adjustment of the sights of a firearm that causes it to shoot to point of aim at a desired range

4. : an insignificant person or thing : nonentity


a. : a state of total absence or neutrality

b. : the lowest point : nadir

6. : something arbitrarily or conveniently designated zero

II. adjective

Date: 1810


a. : of, relating to, or being a zero

b. : having no magnitude or quantity : not any

zero growth

zero tolerance


(1) : having no phonetic manifestation

the zero modification in the past tense of cut

(2) : having no modified inflectional form

a zero plural


a. of a cloud ceiling : limiting vision to 50 feet (15 meters) or less

b. of horizontal visibility : limited to 165 feet (50.3 meters) or less

III. verb

Date: 1913

transitive verb

1. : to determine or adjust the zero of (as a rifle)


a. : to concentrate firepower on the exact range of — usually used with in

b. : to bring to bear on the exact range of a target — usually used with in

intransitive verb

1. : to adjust fire on a specific target — usually used with in

2. : to close in on or focus attention on an objective — usually used with in

investigators are zero ing in on a suspect

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.