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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.
zeugma a rhetorical construction in which one word, usu. an adjective or verb, modifies or governs two or more words, although it makes straightforward logical sense with only one, as in "loud thunder and lightning".
Zeus in Greek mythology, the supreme Olympian god; Jupiter.
ziggurat a terraced, pyramidal tower of the ancient Sumerians, Assyrians, and Babylonians.
zigzag a line or course that moves back and forth to form a series of sharp angles. [5 definitions]