Definition of zip in English:

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Pronunciation: /zip/

verb (zips, zipping, zipped)

1 [with object] Fasten with a zipper: I zipped up my sweater
More example sentences
  • Liz stood at the door in gray sweatpants and a black jacket that was zipped up.
  • However they imagined this end, I cannot help but seeing an image of a body bag being zipped up.
  • I pulled out three dollars and zipped my purse.
1.1 (zip someone up) Fasten the zipper of a garment that someone is wearing: he zipped himself up
More example sentences
  • ‘Shut up and slip into the dress, so I can zip you up’ Kirk said coolly.
  • He was over in a flash, zipped her up, helped her on with her coat: a complete gentleman.
  • I zipped him up inside my comfy top thing so that his head was poking out from just under my chin, and I set about cooking dinner.
1.2 Computing Compress (a file) so that it takes less space in storage.
Example sentences
  • The standard way around this is to zip the executable files before sending them.
  • The Trojan arrives in an e-mail with an attachment that is zipped and contains an executable.
  • Like the smaller test, we'll be zipping the images into one zip file, then testing again with all the files separate.
2 [no object] informal Move at high speed: swallows zipped back and forth across the lake
More example sentences
  • Brooks, a war correspondent, has obviously done her homework, and her first novel zips along entertainingly, filled with incident and detail.
  • The magnesium catches fire and zips around on the surface of the water.
  • I literally feel life zip by me while I stand rooted.
2.1 [with object] Cause to move or be delivered or dealt with rapidly: he zipped a pass out to his receiver
More example sentences
  • First, Ginobili drove the lane and drew Duncan's defender, zipping a pass to Duncan all alone on the baseline for a 19-footer.
  • Carr zipped a perfect pass to a wide-open Johnson, who dropped the easy catch that would have given Houston another third down conversion.
  • Against the Kings, Yao zipped a no-look scoop pass across the court to PG Steve Francis.


1 (also zip fastener) chiefly British A zipper.
Example sentences
  • Miss Stephenson was wearing black baggy knee-length combat trousers covered in zips and chains, and knee-length stripy socks with white Adidas trainers.
  • Today, however, I set out for the walk and the zip stayed open as I pulled it up.
  • Yes, belts, buckles and zips are high fashion for us men this winter.
1.1 [as modifier] Denoting something fastened by a zipper: a zip pocket
More example sentences
  • She was wearing blue jeans and a black zip top with ‘Sherbourne’ written on the front in white lettering.
  • It's light and has plenty of space, as well as a zip pocket.
  • The pants have an elastic drawcord waist, articulated knees, stretch panels on the waist, and a back zip pocket.
2 informal Energy; vigor: he’s full of zip
More example sentences
  • Even in the scrappy draw with Everton last Monday, there were signs that it has given them a bit of their old zip, and they will approach this afternoon in good spirits.
  • Want to add some crunch to your salad, some zing to your pasta, some zip to your dip?
  • The zip she detects in Tokyo is missing in London and/or Paris and/or New York, she is saying.
3 short for zip code.


(also zippo) North American informal
Nothing at all: you got zip to do with me and my kind, buddy
More example sentences
  • That will mean that anyone earning under $38,000 gets zero, zippo, and members of Parliament get at least $100 a week extra.
  • And you don't have to sacrifice zip for cleaner air.
  • I checked in on concerned daughter, again zippo.


Mid 19th century: imitative.

  • As a name for a fastener, zip dates from the 1920s. The idea of speed was already present in a 19th-century use representing the sound of something moving through the air rapidly. Zoom appears at the same time with the same sense. In the USA zip also means ‘nothing, nil, zero’. This appeared in print in 1900, much earlier than the similar zilch, the first clear example of which dates from the mid 1960s, though Mr Zilch had been used as an indefinite name 30 or more years before. The US zip code, a postal code consisting of five or nine digits, is unrelated, being short for Zone Improvement Plan.

Words that rhyme with zip

blip, chip, clip, dip, drip, equip, flip, grip, gyp, hip, kip, lip, nip, outstrip, pip, quip, rip, scrip, ship, sip, skip, slip, snip, strip, tip, toodle-pip, trip, whip, yip

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: zip

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