Origin of zoom

First recorded in 1885–90; imitative

Synonyms for zoom

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for zoom

Contemporary Examples of zoom

Historical Examples of zoom

  • After that for some time only the zoom of the motor was heard.

    Gypsy Flight

    Roy J. Snell

  • Jack had to "zoom" several times to get out of reach of the shells.

  • He had lost flying speed on his zoom to get at the green plane.

    Aces Up

    Covington Clarke

  • When they saw him zoom once more into the air, their hearts bounded with him.

    Famous Flyers

    David Goodger (goodger@python.org)

  • Just then the distant "Zoom" of the westbound Overland shook the silence.

    Partners of Chance

    Henry Herbert Knibbs

British Dictionary definitions for zoom



to make or cause to make a continuous buzzing or humming sound
to move or cause to move with such a sound
(intr) to move very rapidly; rushwe zoomed through town
to cause (an aircraft) to climb briefly at an unusually steep angle, or (of an aircraft) to climb in this way
(intr) (of prices) to rise rapidly


the sound or act of zooming

Word Origin for zoom

C20: of imitative origin
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 zoom

1886, of echoic origin. Gained popularity c.1917 as aviators began to use it; zoom lens is 1936.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper