zero in

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 (zîr′ō, zē′rō)
n. pl. ze·ros or ze·roes
1. The numerical symbol 0; a cipher.
2. Mathematics
a. The identity element for addition.
b. A cardinal number indicating the absence of any or all units under consideration.
c. An ordinal number indicating an initial point or origin.
d. An argument at which the value of a function vanishes.
3. The temperature indicated by the numeral 0 on a thermometer.
4. A sight setting that enables a firearm to shoot on target.
5. Informal One having no influence or importance; a nonentity: a manager who was a total zero.
6. The lowest point: His prospects were approaching zero.
7. Informal Nothing; nil: Today I accomplished zero.
1. Of, relating to, or being zero.
a. Having no measurable or otherwise determinable value.
b. Informal Not any; no: "The town has ... practically no opportunities for amusement, zero culture" (Robert M. Adams).
3. Meteorology
a. Designating a ceiling not more than 16 meters (52 feet) high.
b. Limited in horizontal visibility to no more than 55 meters (180 feet).
4. Linguistics Of or relating to a morpheme that is expected by an established, regular paradigm but has no spoken or written form. Moose has a zero plural; that is, its plural is moose.
tr.v. ze·roed, ze·ro·ing, ze·roes
To adjust (an instrument or a device) to zero value.
Phrasal Verbs:
zero in
a. To aim or concentrate firepower on an exact target location.
b. To adjust the aim or sight of by repeated firings.
2. To converge intently; close in: The children zeroed in on the display of toys in the store window.
zero out
1. To reduce to zero.
2. To eliminate (a budget or budget item) by cutting off funding.

[Italian, from alteration of Medieval Latin zephirum, from Arabic ṣifr, nothing, cipher; see cipher.]

zero in

vb (adverb)
1. (Firearms, Gunnery, Ordnance & Artillery) (often foll by on) to bring (a weapon) to bear (on a target), as while firing repeatedly
2. informal (foll by: on) to bring one's attention to bear (on a problem, etc)
3. informal (foll by: on) to converge (upon): the police zeroed in on the site of the crime.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend: in - direct onto a point or target, especially by automatic navigational aids
target, direct, aim, place, point - intend (something) to move towards a certain goal; "He aimed his fists towards his opponent's face"; "criticism directed at her superior"; "direct your anger towards others, not towards yourself" in - adjust (as by firing under test conditions) the zero of (a gun); "He zeroed in his rifle at 200 yards"
adjust, correct, set - alter or regulate so as to achieve accuracy or conform to a standard; "Adjust the clock, please"; "correct the alignment of the front wheels"


1. Informal. A totally insignificant person:
Informal: pip-squeak.
Slang: shrimp, zilch.
2. Informal. No thing; not anything:
Slang: nix, zilch.
Archaic: aught.
phrasal verb
zero in
To move (a weapon or blow, for example) in the direction of someone or something:
Military: lay.

w>zero in

vi (Mil) → sich einschießen (→ on auf +acc); to zero in on somebody/something (fig, on gang leader, core of problem) → jdn/etw einkreisen; on difficultysich (dat)etw herausgreifen; on opportunitysich auf etw (acc)stürzen
References in periodicals archive ?
Let's see, their division lead had recently gone from eight games to zero in a 19-day stretch.
7 in 1990 to zero in 1991 and its injury rate fell from 16 in 1990 to seven in 1991.
PHOTO (1) Camera operator Anna Hernandez, left, and supe rvisor Rosie Izzo can zero in on mall activity with joy sticks.