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zebra crossing (chiefly British) a painted pathway of black and white stripes across a road that indicates where pedestrians may cross safely.
zebrafish a small freshwater tropical fish that has zebralike stripes and is often kept in aquariums.
zebu a domesticated oxlike animal, native to Asia, that has a large hump over its shoulders and loose, fleshy skin at its throat.
Zeitgeist the spirit of the age (German); the popular outlook or trend of a particular period or generation.
Zen a type of Buddhism, now practiced in Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, that emphasizes individual spiritual enlightenment through meditation. [2 definitions]
Zend a Middle Persian translation and interpretation of the Avesta.
Zend-Avesta the Zoroastrian sacred writings together with their Zendic commentaries.
zenith the point in the sky that is directly over the head of the observer. (Cf. nadir.) [2 definitions]
zeolite any of a group of naturally hydrated aluminum silicates that readily gain or lose water of hydration. [2 definitions]
Zephaniah according to the Old Testament, a minor prophet of Israel of the seventh century B.C. [2 definitions]
zephyr a soft breeze.
zeppelin (sometimes cap.) a rigid airship with a long, cylindrical body; dirigible.
zero the number represented by the Arabic numeral 0; cipher. [5 definitions]
zero-base having each budget expenditure justified on a basis of cost or need without consideration for the expenditures of a previous budget.
zero gravity the condition of apparent weightlessness, as of a body in orbit, when the apparent effect of gravity is zero.
zero hour the time at which a military attack or other operation is scheduled to begin. [2 definitions]
zero population growth a condition in a given population in which the number of live births equals the number of deaths, so that the population remains constant.
zero-sum of or describing a situation, such as a competition, in which the sum of the gains equals the sum of the losses.
zest great pleasure; keen enjoyment; relish. [2 definitions]
zestless combined form of zest.
zeta the name of the sixth letter of the Greek alphabet.