• synonyms


noun, plural zo·a [zoh-uh] /ˈzoʊ ə/. Biology Rare.
  1. any of the individuals of a compound organism.
  2. any individual, or the individuals collectively, produced from a single egg.
  3. zooid.
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Origin of zoon

1860–65; < New Latin zōon < Greek zôion animal
Related formszo·on·al [zoh-uh-nl] /ˈzoʊ ə nl/, adjective


  1. a combining form meaning “animal,” “organism” of the kind specified by the initial element, often corresponding to zoological class names ending in -zoa, with -zoon used to name a single member of such a class: protozoon.
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Origin of -zoon

see origin at zoon
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for zoon

Historical Examples

  • Zummat occurred betwixt us, and Phil was zoon on the ground under me.

    Three Courses and a Dessert


  • Thee zhut thee eyes an' walk about a bit, an' thee'll zoon get down!

  • Zoology is formed from two Greek words: zoon, meaning animal, and logos, meaning discourse.

  • I think it was the zoon of a cicada which waked my attention, and once I heard them they seemed to fill the air with shrieking.

    Old Plymouth Trails

    Winthrop Packard

  • This is what prompted Felix Hausdorf to define the human being as zoon semeiotikon- semiotic animal, sign-using animal.

British Dictionary definitions for zoon


noun plural zoa (ˈzəʊə) or zoons
  1. a less common term for zooid (def. 1)
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Derived Formszoonal, adjective

Word Origin

C19: from New Latin, from Greek zōion animal; related to Greek zōē life


n combining form
  1. indicating an individual animal or an independently moving entity derived from an animalspermatozoon
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Word Origin

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 zoon


1864, from Greek zoion "animal" (see zoo).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

zoon in Medicine


  1. Animal; independently moving organic unit:spermatozoon.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.