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Do you want to create a zesty meal from scratch? Do you want to become a zany person? Or are you planning to take a trip to your local zoo? If you want to do any of these things, you’ll need to use words that start with Z!
This may sound easy enough, but Z is actually one of the least common letters in the English language. This means that it appears at the beginning of far fewer words than consonants like R, T, or N. Statistically, this also means that both native and non-native speakers are less likely to use or even know words that start with Z. So, to help you expand your vocabulary and learn some new words, we’ve provided you with a master list of 50 words that start with Z. Let’s get started!
50 Words That Start With Z and Definitions
Since you can divide words by meaning, length, and part of speech, we will try to keep this list as simple as possible. First, we will begin with positive words that start with Z. So, if you’re looking for positive ways to describe things with the letter Z, keep reading!
Positive words that start with Z
Using positive words is a great way to make friends and generally keep everyone happy! However, since it is one of the least common letters in the alphabet, there simply aren’t that many positive words that start with Z. Nonetheless, here are a few words that you can sprinkle into your next English conversation to keep things light and friendly!
– Amusingly unusual or uncommon in behavior or appearance.
My sister entertains her classmates with her zany personality.
– Passionate or enthusiastic.
I’ve always been zealous in my studies.
– Exciting and full of energy (describing people); having a strong, spicy, or pleasant flavor (describing food).
My favorite meal is a zesty chicken curry.
– Having a lot of energy or enthusiasm.
I returned home to a zestful greeting from my dog.
– Fast or lively.
The zippy little car sped through traffic with ease.
Now that you know a few positive words that start with Z, let’s look at even more words that begin with the last letter of the alphabet!
Words that start with Za
To keep things easy, we will organize the remainder of this list based on the vowels that follow the letter Z. Each section will contain words that start with Z and a particular vowel. Additionally, each section will begin with 3 letter words that start with Z, going on to 4 letter words that start with Z, 5 letter words that start with Z, and so on!
– A quick change of direction; to make a quick change of direction.
The cyclist zagged all over the sidewalk.
– A sudden burst of energy; to completely destroy.
The gamer used his gun to zap all the enemies in his view.
– A metal holder for a coffee cup that does not have a handle.
I bought my mother an ornamental zarf for Christmas.
– full of energy.
The musical troupe put on a zappy performance.
The clown zanily slipped on a banana peel.
– A remote control; a device for killing insects.
He installed the bug zapper on the front porch to kill all the mosquitos.
Words that start with Ze
Next up, we have some useful words that start with Ze!
– A Japanese school of Buddhism; calmness and tranquility.
I’ve been feeling very Zen lately.
– Enthusiasm regarding a specific goal.
His zeal helped him climb the corporate ladder.
– no quantity; focus on a target.
The supermarket had zero watermelons in stock.
– A black-and-white striped horse native to Africa.
A lion chased the zebra across the savannah.
– The high point or peak of something.
The business reached its zenith years ago.
– A person who is fanatical about their religious or political beliefs.
The religious zealot yelled at passersby.
– A kitchen utensil for peeling off small shreds of citrus peel.
I need to buy a zester to use with all of these oranges.
She zestily hurried through the streets.
– A fanatical pursuit of religious or political beliefs.
The politician’s zealotry proved to be popular with rural voters.
– Lacking any zest or liveliness.
The dish he served was completely zestless.
– A freshwater fish native to South Asia.
We saw a school of zebrafish when we went snorkeling.
– The general mood of a period of history based on the prevailing beliefs at the time.
The zeitgeist of the 2010s was one of political division.
– The state of being zesty.
My food had a peculiar zestiness that I found appealing.
– The state of being passionately devoted to something.
The court’s zealousness for law and order had long-lasting consequences.
Words that start with Zi
Now it’s time to look at words that start with Zi!
– A sharp change in direction; to make a sudden change in direction.
He zigged past the other driver.
– To close using a zipper; to move quickly.
The man at the airport struggled to zip his bag shut.
– A pimple.
I always get zits when I’m stressed out.
– An essential mineral found in nature.
My doctor says that I need more zinc in my diet.
– Energy and excitement; to move very quickly.
The couple wanted to add a bit more zing to their marriage.
He was left with zilch after his divorce.
– A line that alternates left and right; to move back and forth quickly.
He zigzagged through traffic to get to the meeting on time.
– A funny joke or insult.
The woman was keeping everyone entertained with a series of zingers.
– An extremely large quantity.
I have a zillion things to do today.
– A device used to close or open bags, clothing, or other items.
The zipper on my jacket broke a week after I bought it.
Words that start with Zo
Up next, we have words that start with Zo!
– A space dedicated to the display of wild or exotic animals.
For my last school trip, we went to the local zoo.
– A specific area of land.
People are required to drive slower in school zones.
– A camera shot that transitions from a long-shot to a close-up; to move quickly.
The camera zoomed in on the man’s face.
– An area of the night sky divided into 12 distinct signs, which are commonly associated with the 12 months of the year.
What’s your zodiac sign?
– A reanimated corpse; the living dead.
I think zombie movies are really scary!
– The act of dividing space into separate areas; related to the legal or official division of land.
The city officials are rewriting the zoning laws.
– The scientific study of animals.
My mother studied zoology in college.
– An old-fashioned device that creates the illusion of moving images.
Before animated movies came along, people used zoetropes.
– noun – A person who attends to animals at a zoo.
The zookeeper was trained to safely feed the lions.
Words that start with Zu
Our lists are starting to get very short! Now we have just three words that start with Zu!
– A variety of summer squash.
I like to eat fried zucchini, but my sister hates it.
– A language originating in South Africa; a 19th-century African empire.
Today, over nine million people speak some form of Zulu.
Just when he thought he was about to win, the player found himself in a zugzwang.
Words that start with Zy
Finally, we have just three more words that start with Zy!
– A chemical substance that produces a change in other substances.
Many zymes are found in both humans and animals.
– A fertilized egg cell.
A zygote can eventually become an embryo.
Zymology – The scientific study of fermentation.
Zymology is a subject that focuses on enzymes.
We hope you enjoyed this list of 50 words that start with Z! While some of these words may be tricky to place in everyday conversation, others will make a great addition to your working vocabulary. So, don’t be afraid to feel zealous and get in the zone as you zigzag through your next English conversation!
As always, for all things English conversation, grammar, or job-related, visit Magoosh Speaking today!
This list of words starting with z is great to boost anyone’s vocabulary skills. Put them to use in games like Scrabble or simply browse to learn a new word.
This list of words that start with the letter z is perfect for when friends or family are playing games such as Scrabble or Words with Friends. Read through the list below of words starting with z to up your vocabulary knowledge.
List of Words Starting with Z
2-Letter Words that Start with Z
(n) a term that’s short for ‘pizza’
3-Letter Words that Start with Z
(v) strike suddenly, with force
(n) a large sandwich made of a long crusty roll filled with meats and cheeses
4-Letter Words Beginning with Z
(adj) amusingly unconventional: tomfoolery
(n) an ornamental metal cup-shaped holder for coffee
(n) an isolated sandy cave in a coastal cliff
(n) a feeling of strong eagerness
(n) a domesticated ox having a humpback and long horns
(adj) vigorous and enthusiastic enjoyment
(n) an old Australian slang word for beard
(n) the activeness of an energetic personality
(n) a medium-sized tubular pasta
(n) a whizzing or buzzing sound
(n) a circumscribed geographical region
(n) a sandal attached to the foot by a thing over the toes
5-Letter Words that Start with Z
(adj) 1960s slang for something flashy or colorful
(n) an animal characterized by black and white stripes
(n) blind mole-rat
(n) a colorless alcoholic drink made from raisins
(n) a quantity of no importance
(adj) quick and energetic
(n) a soup or chowder
6-Letter Words that Start with Z
(adj) having a full, rounded figure; plump
(n) a line or course that has abrupt, alternate right and left turns
(n) a striking or caustic remark
(n) a slight, usually refreshing wind
(n) a dead body that has been brought back to life by supernatural forces
(n) music of southern Louisiana that combines French dance melodies with Caribbean music
7-Letter Words that Start with Z
(n) a machine that smoothes the ice in an ice skating rink
(n) popular in the 1900s, it is a women’s loose ringlet of hair worn over one shoulder
(n) a large doughnut
(number) a very large indefinite number
(n) the fossil of an animal
(n) the study or practice of fermentation in brewing/winemaking/distilling
8-Letter Words that Start with Z
(n) excessive and uncompromising intolerance of opposing views
(adj) Active interest and enthusiasm
(n) a white crystalline oxide
(n) a disease that can be transferred from animals to humans
9-Letter Words that Start with Z
(n) excessive jealousy
(n) fear of animals
10-Letter Words that Start with Z
(n) an antiviral drug used in the treatment of AIDS
(n) main pigment in yellow Indian corn
(n) an artist that specializes in drawing animals
(adj) feeding on other animals
(n) a molecule or ion having separate positive and negative charged groups
11-Letter Words that Start with Z
(adj) part of mythology, gods/mythical beings with the head of an animal
(adj) grumpy or ill-natured, can be traced back to old English dialect
X marks the spot on these words! Sadly, words that start with the letter X are quite rare. It is crazy to think that words that start with X make up around 0.02 percent of words in the dictionary! Read on to learn some new words and impress yourself with words you already know.
(v) meaning to cross out a single letter
(n) Victorian slang for criminals and pickpockets
(v) to enjoy something so much you begin to hate how much you enjoy it
(n) a flower with yellow petals
(adj) not that smart in one area, but good at everything else
(n) a yellow discoloration of the skin
(adj) wild; overly energetic
(adj) brilliant, evil, and insane
(adj) tracing back and meaning from ancient times
(adj) yearning for change
(adj) used to describe a friendly relationship between two parties
(n) the fear of seeing doctors you don’t know
(n) a mix of the flu and common cold
(n) 19th century word meaning “the act of traveling as a stranger”
(n) a government formed by foreigners or outsiders
(n) the lore of hotels and inns
(n) an attitude of kindness to strangers
(n) the ability to speak a language that you’ve apparently never learnt
(n) the study of extraterrestrial life forms
(n) the scientific study of extraterrestrial phenomena
(n) an enthusiasm or fondness of anything or anyone foreign
(n) fear of foreign currency
(n) something unusually or irregularly shaped
(n) fear of people from other countries
(adj) a term used to describe an environment that is hot and dry
(n) transplanting organic matter from a non-human into a human
(prefix) meaning just a little
(adj) a term used to describe a really dry environment
(n) a person’s place of things they keep at their place
(n) medical name for dry lips
(n) a photocopy of a document
(n) medical name for a dry mouth
(n) the process of polishing
(adj) something that resembles or feels like cotton
(adj) something that resembles a sword
(n) a carved idol of a deity
(v) to drive over bumps on the road
(v) to show how much of an expert you are at something
(n) an old name for charcoal
(adj) something described as woody
(n) a 17th century name for a timber merchant
(adj) anyone/anything particularly good at wood cutting
(n) a fear of being close to or touching sharp objects
(n) a plain area of dead grass
(n) a type of covered walkway
(n) a 19th century slang name for a journalist who takes on any work going on
Learning root words can be helpful in improving your vocabulary. When you know root words, you can recognize the basis of any word and use that knowledge to help you define a word you may not otherwise know. Keep reading to learn more about root words and to see a list of over 100 root word definitions.
100+ Root Word Definitions and Meanings
Root Word Basics
So, what is a root word? A root word is the most basic part of a word, known as a morpheme. Root words that can stand alone as words (such as hero or ego) are known as free morphemes. If a root word must use a prefix and/or suffix to be an English word, it’s known as a bound morpheme.
For example, take the word biology:
The root bio is Greek for “life.”
The suffix -logy is Greek for “the study of.”
Therefore, biology means “the study of life.” If you add yet another suffix, -ist, the word becomes biologist – a person who studies life. As you make your way through this list of root words, you might consider creating your own flashcard set to memorize root word definitions. Just use this editable blank flashcard template.
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It’s important to know basic root word meanings. Understanding these definitions is the first step in building a stronger and more expansive vocabulary. Here is a sampling of root words divided by Greek and Latin origins.
Many words in English are derived from Greek roots, like “bibliography,” “chronological” and “orthodontist.” Take a look at this list of Greek roots and try to think of English words based on each of them.
Amphi (from amphí): Both sides, all around
Anthrop (from ánthrōpos): Human or man
Aqua or Aque (from aqua): Water or having to do with water
Arch (from arkhḗ): Ruler, chief, or leader
Arthro (from árthron): Joint
Bio (from biōtós): Life
Biblio (from bíblos): Book
Byss (from bussós): Bottom
Chrom (from khrôma): Color
Chron (from khrónos): Time
Cord or Chord (from khordḗ): Cord
Cosm (from kósmos): Universe
Crac or Crat (from krátos): Ruler or rule
Crypt (from krúptein): Hidden
Cylind (from kulíndein): Roll
Dyna (from dúnasthai): Power
Dem (from dêmos): People
Derm (from dérma): Skin
Dox (from dóxa): Opinion or belief
Eur (from eurús): Wide
Exo (from éxō): Outside
Gam (from gámos): Marriage
Geo (from gaîa): Earth
Glyph (from glúphein): Carve
Gno (from gnōtós): Know
Gram (from grámmatos): Letter
Graph (from gráphein): Printing or writing
Gym (from gumnós): Naked
Gyn (from gunḗ): Woman
Hemi (from hḗmisus): partial
Hemo, Hem, or Hema (from haîma): Blood
Hero (from hḗrōs): Hero
Hol (from hólos): Entire or whole
Hydr or Hydro (from húdōr): Water
Iso (from ísos): Identical, same or equal
Klept (from kléptein): Steal
Log (from lógos): Word or reason
Man or Mant (from manía): Crazy
Melan (from mélanos): Black
Mere (from meíresthai): A segment or part
Meta or Met (from metá): Above or beyond
Meter or Metri (from métron): Measure
Morph (from morphḗ): Structure or form
Narc (from narkân): Numb
Neur (from neûron): Nerve
Od (from hodós): Path
Odonto (from odóntos): Tooth
Onym or Nym (from ónuma): Name or word
Ortho (from orthós): To correct or straighten
Path (from páthos): Feeling
Phono or Phon (from phōnḗ): Voice or sound
Pne (from pneûma): Lung or breathe
Psych (from psukhḗ): Mind, soul or spirit
Pod or Ped (from podós): Foot
Rhe (from rheîn): Flow
Schid or Schiz (from skhízein): Split or division
Siphon (from síphōn): Tube
Soph (from sophós): Knowledge or wisdom
Strat (from stratós): Army
The or Theo (from theós): Deity or god
Therm (from thermós): Heat
Troph (from trophós): Feed or grow
Ur (from oureîn): Urine
Zo (from zôion): Animal
Just as many English words are derived from Greek, many other words are based on Latin roots, like “ambidextrous,” “carnivore” and “lecture.” What English words can you think of that are based on each of these Latin root words?
Alter (from alius): Other
Ami or amic (from amicus): Love
Ambi (from ambi): Both sides
Ann or Enni (from annus): Year
Aud (from audire): Sound
Bell (from bellum): War
Brev (from brevis): short
Cap (from capere): To take or seize control of
Carn (from caro): Meat
Ced (from cedere): Yield or go
Corp (from corpus): Body
Cred (from credere): Believe
Cruc (from crux): Cross
Culp (from culpa): Guilt
Dent (from dentis): Tooth
Dic (from dīcere): To speak or say
Doc (from docere) Teach
Du (from duo): Two
Duc or Duct (from ducere): To lead
Ego (from egṓ): Self
Equ (from aequus): Equal or equivalent
Fac (from facere): To make or do
Fil (from fīlum): Thread
Frater (from frāter): Brother
Grad or Gress (from gradi): Step
Ject (from jacio ): To throw
Jud or Judic (from iudex): To judge
Jus or Jur (from ius): Law and justice
Lect or Leg (from legere): Say or read
Liter (from littera): Letter
Loc (from locus): Place
Luc (from lūx): Light
Magn (from magnus): Big or Large
Man or Manu (from manus): Hand
Mar (from mare): Sea
Mater (from mater): Mother
Min (from minor): Smaller
Miss or Mit (from mittere): Send
Mon (from mónos): Warn
Mov, Mot, or Mob (from movere): Move
Mort or Mor (from mors): Death
Mut (from movere): Change
Nomin or Nomen (from nomen): Name
Nov (from novus): New
Pac (from pax): Peace
Pater (from patḗr): Father
Pel or Puls (from pēlós): Drive or push
Pend or Pens (from pensare): Weigh or hang
Plan (from plānus): Flat
Port (from portare): Carry
Pot (from potere): Power
Pug or Pugn (from pugnare): Fight
Quer or Quis (from quaerere): To ask or seek
Scand or Scend (from scandere): To climb
Sci (from scire): Know
Scind or sciss (from scindere): Cut
Script or Scrib (from scribere): Write
Sect or Sec (from secare): Cut
Sess or Sed (from sedere): Sit
Sent or Sens (from sentire): To be aware of, to feel
Sequ or Secut (from sequere): To follow
Serv (from servare): To save or serve
Simil or Simul (from simulare): The same or similar
Sol (from solis): The sun
Son (from sonus): Sound
Spic or Spec (from specere): To see or look
Spir (from spirare): Coil or to breathe
Spond (from spondere): Pledge or promise
Stat (from statuere): Stand
Tact or Tang (from tangere): Touch
Tempor (from temporis): Time
Tent or Ten (from tenere): Hold
Terr (from terra): Earth
Vac (from vacare): Empty
Vent or Ven (from venire): To come
Ver (from verus): Truth
Vert (from versus): To turn
Vit (from vita): Life
Voc (from vocare): To call
More Resources on Root Words
The root study doesn’t have to stop here. If you’d like to see these words in action, check out an article that lists examples of root words. There, you’ll learn about root stems and how words can be formed by adding prefixes, suffixes or both to roots.
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