zoo

[ zoo ]
/ zu /

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.

Origin of zoo

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

Definition 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. 2019

Examples from the Web for zoo

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

Word Origin and History for zoo

zoo


n.

c.1847, short for Zoological Gardens of the London Zoological Society, established 1828 in Regent's Park to house the society's collection of wild animals. From comb. form of Greek zoion "an animal," literally "a living being," from PIE root *gwei- "to live, life" (cf. Greek bios "life," Old English cwicu "living;" see bio-). Slang meaning "crowded and chaotic place" first recorded 1935.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for zoo

zoo-


pref.

Animal; animal kingdom:zoonosis.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

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.