from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The target of a projectile, such as a missile or bomb.
- n. The site directly below, directly above, or at the point of detonation of a nuclear weapon.
- n. The center of rapid or intense development or change: "The neighborhood scarcely existed five years ago, but today it is the ground zero from which designer shops and restaurants radiate” ( Robert Clark).
- n. The starting point or most basic level: My client didn't like my preliminary designs, so I returned to ground zero.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The point on the land or water surface below, above, or at which an atomic or nuclear bomb detonates
- n. The location of any disaster
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the target of a projectile (as a bomb or missile)
- n. the site of the World Trade Center before it was destroyed
- n. the point of detonation (or above or below) of a nuclear weapon
Sorry, no etymologies found.
So the Grumleys had set up almost at ground zero of the NASCAR explosion: directly across from NASCAR Village, on the other side of parkway, just a bit down from the driveway that led to the parkway from the speedway headquarters, an admin building in art moderne aluminum.
In the past half-century, the meaning was extended to “the center of violent activity or sudden change,” and even to “the ultimate origin, very be-ginning,” as a near-synonym to the informal board-game phrase square one; as such, ground zero is lowercase.
Ed Mathias was a managing partner at the Carlyle Group—a powerful private-equity investment firm in D.C. that counts among its partners and clients ex-presidents, prime ministers, and Arabian princes, and is also ground zero for liberal conspiracy theorists.