Definition of zoo in English:


Syllabification: zoo
Pronunciation: /zo͞o


  • 1An establishment that maintains a collection of wild animals, typically in a park or gardens, for study, conservation, or display to the public.
    More example sentences
    • Once it was only possible to see animals in zoos or in marine parks but in recent years there has been a huge growth in wildlife tourism around the world.
    • In Colombia, biologists are busy reintroducing young condors hatched in North American zoos to parks and reserves.
    • While some of the animals are kept in zoos, the Sumatran rhino is difficult to breed in captivity.
    park, menagerie, game farm, wildlife park, safari park, zoological park
  • 1.1 informal A situation characterized by confusion and disorder: it’s a zoo in the lobby
    More example sentences
    • I was reluctant to do the Olympics because I thought it would be a zoo.
    • Through the human zoo called Paris, the driver found his way to the shop located in the middle of the entertainment part of the city.
    circus, madhouse, maelstrom, hullabaloo, free-for-all; pandemonium, chaos, bedlam


mid 19th century: abbreviation of zoological garden, originally applied specifically to that of Regent's Park, London.

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