[ zoh-uh ]
/ ˈzoʊ ə /
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plural of zoon.
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Other definitions for zoa (2 of 2)


a combining form meaning “animals,” “organisms” of the kind specified by the initial element, used in the names of classes in zoology: Protozoa.

Origin of -zoa

<New Latin <Greek zôia, plural of zôion animal; see zoon
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does -zoa mean?

The combining formzoa is used like a suffix meaning “animals” or “organisms.” It is occasionally used in scientific terms, particularly to name classes in zoology. In zoology, class has a specific meaning that refers to taxonomy.

The form –zoa comes from Greek zôia, meaning “animals.” The word zoo also ultimately comes from this Greek root. Zoo is shortened from zoological garden.

What are variants of –zoa?

While –zoa doesn’t have any variants, it is related to the form zoon, which is the singular form of –zoa, as in protozoon.

When combined as a prefix, –zoa becomes zoo or zo, as in zooplankton or zooid. Want to know more? Read our Words That Use articles for zoo-, zo-, and –zoon.

Examples of -zoa

One example of a scientific term that features –zoa is Protozoa, “a major grouping or superphylum of the kingdom Protista, comprising the protozoans.” Protozoans are single-celled organisms like amoebas. Protozoa comes from a New Latin term that uses the equivalent form of –zoa in that language.

The proto part of the word means “first” or “earliest form of.” The –zoa part of the word means “organisms.” Protozoa literally translates to “earliest form of organisms.”

What are some words that use the combining form –zoa?

  • ectozoa
  • epizoa (using the equivalent form of –zoa in Latin)
  • hematozoa
  • Metazoa (using the equivalent form of –zoa in Latin)
  • spermatozoa (using the equivalent form of –zoa in Latin)
  • Sporozoa (using the equivalent form of –zoa in Latin)

What are some other forms that –zoa may be commonly confused with?

Break it down!

The combining form hemato means “blood.” With this in mind, what does the scientific term hematozoa literally mean?

How to use zoa in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for zoa (1 of 2)

/ (ˈzəʊə) /

the plural of zoon

British Dictionary definitions for zoa (2 of 2)


suffix forming plural proper nouns
indicating groups of animal organismsMetazoa

Word Origin for -zoa

from New Latin, from Greek zōia, plural of zōion animal, living being
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012