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zoo

[ zoo ]
/ zu /
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noun, plural zoos.
Also called zoological garden. a parklike area in which live animals are kept in cages or large enclosures for public exhibition.
Informal. a place, activity, or group marked by chaos or unrestrained behavior.
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Origin of zoo

First recorded in 1840–50; first two syllables of zoological garden taken as one syllable

Other definitions for zoo (2 of 2)

zoo-

a combining form meaning “living being,” “animal,” used in the formation of compound words: zoometry; zooplankton.
Also especially before a vowel, zo-.

Origin of zoo-

Combining form representing Greek zôion animal
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use zoo in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for zoo (1 of 2)

zoo
/ (zuː) /

noun plural zoos
a place where live animals are kept, studied, bred, and exhibited to the publicFormal term: zoological garden

Word Origin for zoo

C19: shortened from zoological gardens (originally applied to those in London)

British Dictionary definitions for zoo (2 of 2)

zoo-

before a vowel zo-


combining form
indicating animalszooplankton

Word Origin for zoo-

from Greek zōion animal
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with zoo

zoo

see it's a zoo.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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