Meaning of ZERO in English


I. ˈzē(ˌ)rō, ˈzi(- noun

( plural zeros also zeroes )

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


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

b. : a number or element that leaves unchanged any number or element to which it is added ; specifically : the number between the set of all negative numbers and the set of all positive numbers — see number table

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

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



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

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

b. : zero hour 1


(1) : the basic setting of the rear sight of a firearm that compensates for inaccuracies of weapon and of firing habits and for elevation required at a given range and that causes the firearm to hit where aimed under normal conditions

(2) : the adjustment (as for elevation, windage) required for a gun or other device to achieve accuracy under specific operating conditions

3. : a person or thing that has no importance, influence, or independent existence : nonentity , nobody , nothing , cipher



(1) : a state or condition of total absence or of neutrality between opposites : nothing , naught

a face that registered zero no matter what happened

the two eyewitnesses for the State added up to zero , for the defense made mincemeat of their testimony — Ross Colin

reduce the mortality rate to zero

hold the reversible reaction of the chemical to zero

(2) : absence of an overt linguistic feature when this absence is itself significant because of the presence of such a feature at corresponding points in the language

some vowel which earlier followed the final consonant but which was later reduced to zero — R.A.Hall b. 1911

b. : the lowest point

his spirits fell to zero — Margaret Kennedy

5. : something arbitrarily or conveniently designated zero: as

a. : the lowest in order or class

a speech so bad it rated a zero

b. : the space numbered 0 on a roulette wheel

II. adjective

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

a. : forming a fixed point of departure in reckoning

set the gauge back to the zero mark

time zones extending from the zero meridian

used the founding date as the zero year of its era

b. : having no magnitude or quantity or being intermediate between positive and negative magnitudes or quantities : not any

zero velocity

zero gravity

zero angle

zero lift

zero toe-in

zero inches

zero mass

: nil

chances of making up the lost time were zero


(1) : absent , lacking

the zero modification in the past of cut in comparison with loved, sang

(2) : having no modified inflectional form : unmodified

the noun fish has a zero plural fish as well as a regular plural fishes


(1) : belonging to or being a group or class arbitrarily or conveniently designated zero

(2) : of, relating to, or being a logical class having no members : null , empty

the zero denotation of the term unicorn

zero class


a. of an atmospheric ceiling : limiting vision to 50 feet or less

b. of horizontal visibility : limited to 165 feet or less

III. verb

( -ed/-ing/-es )

transitive verb

1. : to adjust (as by firing under test conditions) the zero of — often used with in

zeroed in his rifle at 100 yards

2. : to adjust (an instrument or device) to zero value or into synchronism


a. : to concentrate firepower (as of mortar or artillery) on the exact range of — usually used with in

it must operate from fixed bases which can be zeroed in by the enemy — Carl Spaatz

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

artillery and mortars were zeroed in on all crossroads and avenues of approach — S.J.Tobin

4. : to reduce to zero

intransitive verb

1. : to adjust fire (as of mortars or artillery) on a specific target — usually used with in

an enemy battery that zeroed in on the crossroad

2. : to move near to or focus attention on a person or thing as if on a target : close — usually used with in

bird-dogs zeroing in on coveys of hidden quail — J.N.Leonard

congressional opponents who zeroed in on the bill

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.