1. The site directly below, directly above, or at the point of detonation of a nuclear weapon.
2. The center of rapid or intense development or change: “The neighborhood scarcely existed five years ago, but today it is the ground zero from which designer shops and restaurants radiate” (Robert Clark).
3. Informal. the most elementary level.
4. Words in the News. commonly used to describe a site of devastation, disaster, or violent attack
The term was first used in 1946 in a New York Times report about the bombing of Hiroshima in Japan, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, and it soon came to mean the ground underneath an exploding bomb.
Following the terrorist attack on 11 September 2001, the site of the devastated World Trade Center in New York became known as Ground Zero. “Ground Zero” is thought to have first been mentioned by a survivor in a television interview and subsequently by reporters.
The expression is now commonly used to describe a site of devastation, disaster, or violent attack.
Other example citations:
- We’re now just a block away from the World Trade Center and the closer we get to “ground zero” the harder it is to breathe and to see. – NBC
- The pictures from Indonesia’s ground zero are beyond description.
Language is alive and forever changing. Approximately 25,000 new words are introduced into English on an annual basis. In the spirit of teaching you vocabulary skills in an entertaining way and to keep you with a finger on the linguistic pulse, the language network Verbalisti brings favourite ‘new’ words and expressions to the language in our FunVOCAB. Click here and enjoy!