Word of the Day: zip

 
 
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Word Reference
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Word of the Day
 
November 9, 2015
 
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zip (noun, verb, adjective) sound LISTEN icon
 
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You may already know that zip is a short word for "zipper" in the UK and is a format for compressing computer files. You also might know that a zip or "zip code" is a postal code in the US. But zip is also an informal way of referring to vitality and vigor, and in US English, it also means "nothing." As a verb, it means not only "to fasten or unfasten a zipper" (often as "zip up") and "to compress a file," but also "to move with a hissing sound" and "to transport quickly." Finally, in US English, "zip up" means "to add vitality or interest to something."
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Example sentences
 
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The zip on my rucksack is stuck; I can't get my homework out.
 
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That boy is full of zip today!
 
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You know zip about me, so shut up.
 
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Zip up your coat! It's cold outside!
 
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Mosquitoes zipped through the air.
 
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The truck zipped ahead on the highway.
 
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A little vinegar will zip up the flavors.
 
 
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Multi-word forms
 

zip it (slang): be quiet 

zip along: move quickly or normally in a straight line

zip around: move quickly between various places or in various directions

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Did you know?
 
The word "zipper" was originally the name of a brand of rubber boots with a fastener, released in 1923 by a North American company. The name was so catchy that people started using it for the name of the fastener itself. "Zipper" is more commonly used for the fastener in US English. In the UK, people mainly say zip.
 
Other forms
 
zipper (noun), zipped (adjective)
Origin
 
Zip as a verb meaning "to move rapidly" and a noun meaning "the sound of something moving rapidly" dates back to the mid-nineteenth century.
 
See full definition
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Learn more about zip in our forums
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