from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An animal developed from a fertilized egg.
  • n. One of the distinct individuals that join to form a compound or colonial animal; a zooid.
  • intransitive v. Chiefly Southern U.S. To fly with a humming or buzzing sound.


New Latin zōon, from Greek zōion, zōon, living being; see gwei- in Indo-European roots.
Probably imitative.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First adopted by Herbert Spencer in Principles of Biology (see 1864 quotation): from New Latin zōon, from Ancient Greek ζῷον (zōion, "animal"). (Wiktionary)



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