Confusing Words Clarified: Group Z; Homonyms, Homophones, Homographs, Synonyms, Polysemes, etc. +

(lists of "Z" sections that are organized into what for some people are confusing groups of words)

If you have any problems understanding the pronunciation symbols, go to this Pronunciation Chart for clarifications.

zap, zap, zap
zap (ZAHP) (verb)
To attack, destroy, or to kill someone or something quickly: "An early heavy frost might zap the beginning blossoms on Vivian's fruit tree."
zap (ZAHP) (verb)
To heat or to cook something in a microwave oven: "Ronnie is going to zap his muffin in the microwave right now."
zap (ZAHP) (verb)
1. To move quickly or suddenly: "Pain will often zap through Dan's legs at night because he has a deficiency of magnesium."
2. To send something or someone quickly from one place to another through electronic means: "People can zap important messages from their laptops to the computers where they work."

Claudia was told that if she would zap the vegetables in the microwave, she would also zap all of the bacteria and then she could safely freeze the vegetables. So, Claudia thought she would zap that useful bit of information to Lydia in an e-mail.

zeal, zest, zest
zeal (ZEEL) (noun)
1. Enthusiastic devotion to a cause, ideal, or goal and tireless diligence in its furtherance: "Gina was a politician known for her zeal and passion for reform."
2. A strong feeling of interest and enthusiasm that makes someone very eager or determined to do something: "Ricky's son started to do his homework with renewed zeal after getting his first 'A' grade."

"The local school principal enforced regulations with excessive zeal."

zest (ZEST) (noun)
1. Lively excitement with a feeling of enjoyment and enthusiasm: "Melinda had a zest for life because she had a keen interest in everything around her."
2. A lively quality that increases enjoyment, excitement, or energy: "Leo's use of humor added zest to his stage performance."
zest (ZEST) (noun)
Thin strips or scrapings of the skin of a citrus fruit used as flavoring in cooking or baking: "The recipe said to add one spoonful of orange zest to the cake batter."

Brittany is reading a book about Julia Child who was a fine cook and demonstrated great zeal in her passion for food.

When she talked, she spoke with zest about her recipes which often included zest as a flavoring.

zing, zing
zing (ZING) (noun)
A quality that makes something exciting, interesting, etc.: "A red scarf can add zing to a simple black outfit."
zing (ZING) (verb)
1.To move very quickly and make a humming sound: "When someone shoots a gun, sometimes the bullets can be heard as they zing through the air."
2. To insult or criticize someone in a sharp, clever, or playful way: "Nathan's opponents have run television ads which zing him."

The debate had quite a zing to it. In fact some of the comments by the candidates seemed to zing back and forth leaving the audience feeling uncomfortable.

zip, zip, zip
zip (ZIP) (verb)
To close, open, or to connect something with a zipper: "Jimmy, please zip up your jacket because it is quite cold outside."
zip (ZIP) (verb)
To move or to act very quickly: "When vehicles zip past people on the street, such noises can be very loud."
zip (ZIP) (noun)
Nothing at all: "Vera knows zip about the rules of the game."

If Minnie is in a hurry to zip out the door while she is trying to zip her jacket, she will probably end up with zip.

zoom, zoom, zoom
zoom (ZOOM) (verb)
To move quickly: "When the children are on their bikes they always zoom around on the parking lot."
zoom (ZOOM) (verb)
1.To increase suddenly: "Housing prices can zoom up quickly when lots of people live in a small country."
2.To adjust the camera to make the image seem to be bigger and closer: "The TV cameras can zoom in to show the main character's face in detail."
zoom (ZOOM) (noun)
An adjustable lens on a camera that allows the photographer to get a close up of a subject: "The photographer said he was going to use his new zoom to get a closer view of the butterfly."

Holly, if you zoom over to the edge of the ship and use the zoom lens on your camera, you might be able to zoom in on that group of whales that are cavorting close to us.

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