Pronunciation: (zēr'ō), [key]
— n., pl. v., adj. -ros, -roes, -roed, -ro•ing,
- the figure or symbol 0, which in the Arabic notation for numbers stands for the absence of quantity; cipher.
- the origin of any kind of measurement; line or point from which all divisions of a scale, as a thermometer, are measured in either a positive or a negative direction.
- a mathematical value intermediate between positive and negative values.
- naught; nothing.
- the lowest point or degree.
- the absence of a linguistic element, as a phoneme or morpheme, in a position in which one previously existed or might by analogy be expected to exist, often represented by the symbol &zeroslash;: Inflectional endings were reduced to zero. The alternant of the plural morpheme in “sheep” is zero.
- a sight setting for both elevation and windage on any particular range causing a projectile to strike the center of the target on a normal day, under favorable light conditions, with no wind blowing.
- the identity element of a group in which the operation is addition.
- (of a function, esp. of a function of a complex variable) a point at which a given function, usually a function of a complex variable, has the value zero; a root.
- (cap.) a single-engine Japanese fighter plane used in World War II.
- to adjust (an instrument or apparatus) to a zero point or to an arbitrary reading from which all other readings are to be measured.
- to reduce to zero.
- to kill (a congressional bill, appropriation, etc.): The proposed tax increase has been zeroed for the time being.
- to aim (a rifle, etc.) at the precise center or range of a target.
- to aim directly at (a target).
- to direct one's attention to; focus on; concentrate on.
- to converge on; close in on.
- amounting to zero: a zero score.
- having no measurable quantity or magnitude; not any: zero economic growth.
- noting a hypothetical morphological element that is posited as existing by analogy with a regular pattern of inflection or derivation in a language, but is not represented by any sequence of phonological elements: the zero allomorph of “-ed” in “cut”; “Deer” has a zero plural.
- (of an atmospheric ceiling) pertaining to or limiting vertical visibility to 50 ft. (15.2 m) or less.
- of, pertaining to, or limiting horizontal visibility to 165 ft. (50.3 m) or less.
- being or pertaining to the precise time, as a specific hour or second, when something must or does happen, as the explosion of a nuclear weapon: in an underground shelter at zero second.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.