[zey-tuh, zee-]

Origin of zeta

First recorded in 1820–30, zeta is from the Greek word zêta
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for zeta


  1. the sixth letter in the Greek alphabet (Ζ, ζ), a consonant, transliterated as z

Word Origin for zeta

from Greek, of Semitic origin; compare Hebrew sādhē


  1. (foll by the genitive case of a specified constellation) the sixth brightest star in a constellationZeta Tauri


  1. a torus-shaped apparatus used for research in the 1950s and early 1960s on controlled thermonuclear reactions and plasma physics

Word Origin for ZETA

C20: from z (ero-) e (nergy) t (hermonuclear) a (pparatus)
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

Word Origin and History for zeta

Greek letter, see zed.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

zeta in Medicine


[zātə, zē-]
  1. The sixth letter of the Greek alphabet.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.