Definition of ground zero in English:

ground zero


  • 1The point on the earth's surface directly above or below an exploding nuclear bomb.

    • ‘In fact, no bomb fragments were ever found, and no one could be sure what car or truck exploded, yet ground zero was established… with no car.’
    • ‘I cannot recall areas designated as ground zero on the island.’
    • ‘The natural reluctance of rescuers to get close enough to ground zero after a nuclear detonation to be much use to survivors is another.’
    • ‘The other day I stuck my camera out of a car window and the sound I got was like ground zero at a nuclear blast!’
    • ‘The degree of damage depends upon the distance from the center of the bomb blast, which is called the hypocenter or ground zero.’
    • ‘It's up there with inspecting ground zero at a nuclear test facility immediately after a detonation, and just in time for Godzilla.’
    • ‘It was rumored that new weapons were tested there, even though people still lived away from the ground zero areas.’
    1. 1.1The site of the former World Trade Center in New York City in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
    2. 1.2A site of devastation, disaster, or violent attack.
      ‘the pictures from Indonesia's ground zero are beyond description’
      • ‘As we walked through Katanea's ground zero, it looks like an act of God.’
      • ‘They came with flowers, incense and tears. Small, sobbing knots of people - Indonesian and foreign - paying their respects for the first time at Bali's ground zero.’
      • ‘The filmmaker visits Bhopal, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Hiroshima and other 'ground zeroes' to search for signs of hope and spiritual rebirth in the ashes of atrocity and disaster.’
      • ‘Three miles away, back down at Takata's ground zero, the human cost of Friday's catastrophe is being counted in piles on the sides of roads that have been bulldozed through the wreckage.’
      • ‘He surveyed the damage by helicopter on a flight from Banda Aceh, on the northern tip of Sumatra Island, to the town of Meulaboh - the ground zero of the disaster.’
      • ‘But Madrid's ground zero panicked the minds and awoke the demagogues, ready to invert responsibility.’
      • ‘Riding, walking, or just standing anywhere on the Plains is like being at ground zero of the 1980 blast.’
      • ‘We are in Zimbabwe, ground zero of the deadliest epidemic known to mankind.’
      • ‘My preoccupations went to issues of war - the Sandinistas and Nicaragua, and nuclear war - I was living on ground zero and this kept me and my friends up for hours wondering what was going to happen.’
      • ‘In our age of weapons of mass destruction every square foot of our globe can become such a ground zero in a twinkling.’
      • ‘In Indonesia's Aceh province, fast emerging as the quake's ground zero, survivors scrabbled for food among mud and corpses.’
      • ‘The people at London's ground zero were sounding like the Spanish after their train bombings.’
  • 2A starting point or base for some activity.

    ‘if you're starting at ground zero in terms of knowledge, go to the library’
    • ‘Back in 1996, I was forced to start again from ground zero.’
    • ‘And then it was almost worse because then we went really down to ground zero in terms of our own emotions because we just could not believe that he would survive.’
    • ‘When I read what he had to say, it was revolutionary to me, in the sense that he was willing to break ground, to start at ground zero and create.’
    • ‘This is exactly the situation we do not want our tug pilots to be in, because it won't be feasible for many of them to start from ground zero to earn a private pilot certificate.’
    • ‘By that, I mean I started at ground zero and learned everything by doing.’
    • ‘‘We started from ground zero,’ Wilson says in his typical American - speak.’
    • ‘I mean, we're really starting from ground zero here.’
    • ‘Flipping a few options can make it more enjoyable for those that like to avoid starting at ground zero every time.’
    • ‘Born in San Francisco in 1963, she was brought up in the Haight-Ashbury district, placing her at ground zero of America's exploding counter-culture.’
    • ‘So I'm starting at ground zero and it will take two or three years.’
    • ‘It's frustrating, sure, but when you start from ground zero anything is an accomplishment, and anything is more than what you have.’
    • ‘We got in there with a pen and a pad and started at ground zero.’
    • ‘If he leaves, the staff will have to start at ground zero.’
    • ‘Although the Montreal music scene is the ground zero of cool these days, one of the city's best bands have somehow managed to fly under the radar.’
    • ‘But, you know, whenever you start a project, you're starting at ground zero.’
    • ‘We started at ground zero and we knew we had to build our fanbase with exciting hockey, and, to be honest, we couldn't do that by setting up a trap night in and night out.’
    • ‘You basically start from ground zero again when you start the season.’
    • ‘You won't have to start at ground zero because all homebuilders today are concerned with energy efficiency and indoor air quality.’
    • ‘So why not endure the pain and start from ground zero?’
    • ‘Basically, you're starting at ground zero and trying to create new characters that will catch on the way the old ones did.’