One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A zone in which life occurs, or in which the greatest number of living organisms may be found; (specifically) that down to a certain depth in the sea.
2Chiefly North American a geographical area or zone and its associated ecosystems or communities, either on a large scale (a biome) or, more usually, on a small scale (as an altitudinal zone).
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in The Gentleman's Magazine.
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