Definition of zone in English:



  • 1[usually with modifier] An area or stretch of land having a particular characteristic, purpose, or use, or subject to particular restrictions.

    ‘a pedestrian zone’
    ‘the government has declared the city a disaster zone’
    ‘a no-smoking zone’
    • ‘The area in question has now been declared a disaster zone, and provincial funding has been requested to help the afflicted fishermen.’
    • ‘More than 100,000 people were belatedly evacuated from the zone following the disaster.’
    • ‘The Courthouse car park would be improved, and a pedestrian zone created at the front entrance.’
    • ‘A buffer zone is recommended in which no irrigating is done.’
    • ‘We had a very large clump of cedar trees just in the fire zone itself.’
    • ‘He had never had a formal driving lesson and was spotted by witnesses doing up to 90 mph in a 30 mph zone minutes before the crash.’
    • ‘It wants to split the area into parking zones at each end and introduce a road traffic order in the middle to safeguard the loading bay with a larger sign.’
    • ‘A large number come from disrupted family backgrounds, economically or socially deprived families or are children who come from conflict zones themselves.’
    • ‘Last year in those zones an astonishing 166,430 visitor permits were issued.’
    • ‘Heavy rains are expected in the earthquake zone this weekend.’
    • ‘Heslington gained their first win of the season and moved out of the relegation zone when they beat Londesbrough Park by seven wickets.’
    • ‘Once in the security zone you can see some of the damage caused by the bombing.’
    • ‘Though it was in the mandatory evacuation zone, fire officials decided removing the animals would be "a logistical nightmare," said the vice president of operations.’
    • ‘Thousands of landmines have made patches of the fertile land into no-go zones.’
    • ‘Essex Police said the incident had taken place in the main passenger terminal building, near check-in zones E and F, at around 9.40 am today.’
    • ‘The chain wants to convert the ground floor to what they describe as a traditional ale house and wine bar, with no-smoking zones and a family area.’
    • ‘The proposed enclosure would stretch from wet sand to dry areas above the tidal zone, but allowed people to walk at the water's edge along the beach.’
    • ‘A small strip of land, the demilitarized zone, separates the two sides.’
    • ‘But once inside this military zone the atmosphere is more relaxed and you are able to walk around freely.’
    • ‘The village has been divided into different zones and athletes will have a colour-coded map to help them get around.’
    area, sector, section, belt, region, territory, tract, stretch, expanse, district, quarter, precinct, locality, neighbourhood, province, land
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Geography A well-defined region extending around the earth between definite limits, especially between two parallels of latitude.
      ‘a zone of easterly winds’
      • ‘Located in the temperate monsoon zone, Japan is also strongly influenced by seasonal weather patterns.’
      • ‘Summers in this climatic zone are warm, rainy and uncomfortably humid.’
      • ‘The eastern Himalayan region is a high-rainfall zone that yields excessive water in basins during the monsoon.’
      • ‘This diagram is the same as the one above except that the major pressure and wind zones have been replaced by a typical isobaric weather map.’
      • ‘The Atlantic zone receives trade winds and has high rainfall year-round.’
    2. 1.2A range of longitudes where a common standard time is used.
      • ‘The staging of the World Cup in a different time zone had an adverse effect on newspaper sales, with Sunday papers hit hardest of all.’
      • ‘Mars will be closest to Earth in 2005 on October 29 or 30, depending on your time zone.’
      • ‘Also, those of us with satellite dishes can watch a different time zone.’
      • ‘If you're serious and plan quite a few early mornings, adjust your sleep schedule the same way you adjust to a new time zone.’
      • ‘If you take melatonin too early in the day, you may become sleepy before bedtime and it may take you longer to adapt to your new time zone.’
      • ‘We're four miles inside of the central time zone here, in south central Tennessee just north of the Georgia, Alabama border.’
      • ‘Go and look at a map - Portugal is actually, if anything, below and to the left of most of Britain, so it makes complete sense that they are in the same time zone.’
      • ‘It was after seven, but Vancouver was in the same time zone, so I called Frank at home.’
      • ‘Fortunately, whether your child is starting school in a new time zone or just down the street, you can help smooth the way.’
      • ‘The comet was struck on July forth for the Eastern and Central time zones, but it hit on the third for us in the Rockies and the Western time zone.’
      • ‘As I turn back towards home, my mobile phone beeps into life. A new year greeting sent from a different time zone, halfway across the world.’
      • ‘Smith said the time zone would be attractive to broadcasters, who could schedule games in different timeslots.’
      • ‘With the last race having been in Malaysia, and the next in Australia, there's plenty to be said for staying out and getting used to the time zone.’
      • ‘‘If we can't run two offices in different locations in the same time zone then we have big problems,’ he said.’
      • ‘For instance, if you travel to Dallas, the watch will pick up signals from the Dallas radio station and reset itself for the appropriate time zone.’
      • ‘As for jet lag, if you have the luxury, one treatment is to slowly change your awake and sleep times to fit the new time zone.’
      • ‘I'm not sure when the time zone changes, so I'll have to figure that out.’
      • ‘Every eight hours, the results of the day's work are forwarded to the team in the next time zone, from Japan to Germany to the USA and back to Japan.’
      • ‘The fact that this World Cup is basically being played in our time zone means most soccer fans are able to see a lot more of this event and understand how big it is.’
      • ‘It's hard to live with someone in a different time zone, so I converted for the sake of the relationship.’
    3. 1.3US (in basketball, football, and hockey) a specific area of the court, field, or rink, especially one to be defended by a particular player.
      • ‘The Wild spent most of their expansion draft picks acquiring players who can cover the defensive zone.’
      • ‘On the ice, I had the puck and I was bringing it into the zone when this big player came up next to me and lined up to hit me.’
      • ‘McNamara and backcourt partner Edelin make the first decision in the zone: Who defends the ball?’
      • ‘They'd play a box-and-one, a two-two zone with one player guarding Forte man-to-man.’
      • ‘The curse seemed to have come to an end as the Rangers cleared their zone and some players piled off the bench to start celebrating.’
      • ‘In a zone, his defensive problems are masked, and his length makes him effective.’
    4. 1.4Botany Zoology An encircling band or stripe of distinctive color, texture, or character.
      • ‘In the cambial zone, at least three patterns of cell differentiation can be distinguished.’
      • ‘As the root grows following seed germination, the stomatal zone overlaps with that of the root hairs.’
      • ‘In addition, plants that are colonized by mycorrhizal fungi have a zone termed the mycorrhizosphere.’
      • ‘‘Palmate’ sclerites are situated in the dorsal zone of the animal's body.’
      • ‘Like modern frogs, she says, the bones show an inner zone of yellow, fatty marrow, encircled by an outer zone of red marrow.’
      • ‘The basement membrane zone divides the epidermis from the dermis.’
  • 2archaic A belt or girdle worn around a person's body.

    girdle, sash, strap, cummerbund, waistband, band, girth
    View synonyms


  • 1Divide into or assign to zones, in particular.

    1. 1.1Divide (a town or stretch of land) into areas subject to particular planning restrictions.
      ‘an experimental system of zoning’
      • ‘However, it was explained at last week's meeting that this figure was arrived at due to current zoning regulations.’
      • ‘All the indications are that Cherrywood will receive the town centre zoning.’
      • ‘The company will even lobby local government to change zoning regulations in order to get the location they want.’
      • ‘Stiff zoning laws, even when they're well-intended, result in unintended consequences.’
      • ‘There are no regulations, zoning restrictions, fences or white lines to tell you where to go.’
      • ‘The list included concerns voiced by the town planners and architects on land use zoning and floor area ratio.’
      • ‘First, consider the principle that time, place, and manner restrictions such as zoning generally do not violate the First Amendment.’
      • ‘For new construction, this can be of vital importance, particularly where zoning restricts building height.’
      • ‘Clearly, communities will need to move decisively to change zoning laws and building codes, in order to avoid a repeat of what we have seen.’
      • ‘Ms McEvoy said zoning in small villages and towns was essential to ensure controlled, structured and sustainable development.’
      • ‘The move was made to restrict zoning, said Stevens, in order to avoid having a retail store set up where it was unwanted.’
      • ‘The local zoning authorities for a long time just outright banned big box stores, stores of over something like 10,000 square feet.’
      • ‘I'm sure any zoning plan will be a small sacrifice for the recreational angler to make for the future sustainability of our fish stocks.’
      • ‘Check local regulations and zoning restrictions because some areas may have legally established separation distances.’
      • ‘Cllr Flynn says while Westport Town Councillors won't be zoning this particular piece of land they will be making their opinions felt.’
      • ‘Pay particular attention to zoning in each of the alternatives proposed for your area.’
      • ‘Clint Eastwood ran for mayor on a platform that promised to prune back the plethora of local rules, regulations, building restrictions and zoning laws.’
      • ‘The 140 acres proposed for zoning also includes land adjacent to the Tullamore Road and Brittas Avenue.’
      • ‘Prescott says he is listening, and, because the urban plan covers zoning bylaws, input can make a difference.’
      • ‘He said a further application would require a material contravention to give zoning authority and added he was surprised by the refusal.’
    2. 1.2Designate (a specific area) for use or development as a particular zone in planning.
      ‘the land is zoned for housing’
      • ‘The property is zoned for residential and part commercial use and is located beside The Elms and Braganza housing estates in Carlow town.’
      • ‘Local authorities could then zone it and then sell it on.’
      • ‘The premises and grounds are zoned for industrial use.’
      • ‘The owners have now had a change of mind and efforts are being made to lease the 8,000 sq. ft property, which is zoned for retail use.’
      • ‘If it zones something for a particular use and nobody wants it, then nothing happens.’
      • ‘The purpose of the proposed variation is to zone lands in Tullow and its environs to use for residential, institutional and industrial uses.’
      • ‘Listowel town manager Michael McMahon asked councillors to consider zoning a portion of land for the use of discount retailers.’
      • ‘The new centre would be zoned for mixed use to allow residential, retail, educational and community facilities such as a health centre, hotel, restaurants, bars and a post office.’
      • ‘The remaining 12 acres are zoned for agriculture.’
      • ‘The council has been called on to increase its commercial rates income by zoning land just outside of the city boundary for commercial development.’
      • ‘The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority claims the cowboys were illegally using the former warehouse as a stable, a use it wasn't zoned for.’
      • ‘The Railway Square site is zoned for general business under the 2002 Waterford City Development Plan.’
      • ‘Since the building is now zoned for residential use, the house can be occupied by only three unrelated people at a time.’
      • ‘Only the 1,000 square feet now operating is zoned for that use.’
      • ‘There is land zoned for industry, so the sooner the County Council purchases this land the better.’
      • ‘The land was zoned at that time for agricultural purposes.’
      • ‘The owners were hard done by following the council decision to zone the land as green area.’
      • ‘Of course, that designation would be vulnerable to manipulation (the airport is currently zoned as parkland, though it is of course not being used as such).’
      • ‘The canal area is zoned for new homes and restaurants, and some redundant cotton mills are being converted into flats.’
      • ‘But much of the land is former industrial space that couldn't be recycled for new uses without government approval because it is still zoned for manufacturing.’
  • 2archaic Encircle as or with a band or stripe.

    • ‘The southeastern horizon is zoned with a mellow uniform band of light.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • zone out

    • Fall asleep or lose concentration or consciousness.

      ‘I just zoned out for a moment’
      • ‘Just zoning out in a bath from 20 minutes to an hour can be a wonderful home-spa experience all by itself, relaxing and private.’
      • ‘This does more harm than good, as we tend to lose the thread and zone out.’
      • ‘Do they zone out in church and only catch half the sermon or what?’
      • ‘He sings Otis Redding's ‘Try a Little Tenderness’ and it's so boring I zone out and my eyeballs fall out.’
      • ‘You've been zoning out all day long, what's the problem?’
      • ‘It is not the sort of cd I could listen to and just zone out to.’
      • ‘Liz was already sitting there, front row centre among the geeks, yet she seemed to have, once again, zoned out and fallen asleep.’
      • ‘I was zoning out a little from the heat but Jill Sobule's set brought me right back to earth.’
      • ‘In between I collapse back onto the pillow, eyes closed and completely zone out while I wait for the next one.’
      • ‘We had been studying logarithms, and I had been zoning out.’
      fall asleep, go to sleep, drop off
      View synonyms


Late Middle English: from French, or from Latin zona girdle from Greek zōnē.