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

British Dictionary definitions for zoom in

zoom in


(intr, adverb) photog films television to increase rapidly the magnification of the image of a distant object by means of a zoom lens
to examine the smallest details of a subject



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 in


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper