Also called slide fastener. a device used for fastening clothing, valises, etc., consisting of two toothed tracks or spiral metal or plastic coils, each bordering one of two edges to be joined, and a piece that either interlocks or separates them when pulled.
a person or thing that zips.
a rubber and fabric boot or overshoe fastened up the leg by a zipper.
a large illuminated display of news bulletins or advertisements that rapidly and continously flash by on an upper part of a building.

verb (used with or without object)

Origin of zipper

1920–25, Americanism; formerly a trademark; see zip1, -er1
Related formszip·per·less, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for zipper

Contemporary Examples of zipper

Historical Examples of zipper

  • Attach tassels on zipper ends, made with a few strands of yarn.

  • I lowered her zipper, she did mine, and tugged my jeans off.

    Little Brother

    Cory Doctorow

  • I am showing you Commission Exhibit 162, which appears to be a jacket with a zipper.

    Warren Commission (7 of 26): Hearings Vol. VII (of 15)

    The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy

  • Phil Conover pulled the zipper of his flight suit up the front of his long, thin body and came into the living room.


    Stanley Gimble

  • He drew a zipper open in his fancy blouse, dragged out the Bull Durham and started to roll his own.


    Gordon Randall Garrett

British Dictionary definitions for zipper



US and Canadian a fastening device operating by means of two parallel rows of metal or plastic teeth on either side of a closure that are interlocked by a sliding tabAlso called (in Britain and certain other countries): zip
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 zipper

1925, probably an agent noun from zip (v.1). The trademark taken out on the name that year applied to a boot with zippers, not to the "lightning fastener" itself, which was at first called a zip.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper