Definition of zizz in English:


Pronunciation /ziz/ /zɪz/


informal in singular
  • 1A whizzing or buzzing sound.

    • ‘there's a nasty zizz from the engine’
    • ‘From the metallic zizz of the starter motor and the first flurry of revs to the final frantic thrashings of the crankshaft, this is swansong motoring.’
    hum, humming, buzzing, murmur, drone, whir, whirring, fizz, fizzing, fuzz, hiss, singing, whisper
  • 2A short sleep.

    • ‘Philip's having a zizz’
    • ‘A ham sandwich and a cup of revitalising tea were sufficient to send me instantly into an afternoon zizz.’
    • ‘But sometimes a quick zizz for 15 or 20 minutes is wonderfully reviving.’
    • ‘Actually, I'd been woken from my second sleep, having got up before light to do a bit of writing, come over all tired and weary, and slipped back for a bit of a zizz.’
    • ‘It reads as if the author was sitting in some Indian village, a long way from a telephone or a satellite dish, and quietly got on with his work when he wasn't having a zizz.’
    • ‘His talk was at around 2.30 p.m. and by then a number in the audience were completely with heads lolled to one side in a zizz.’
    • ‘Prof Wiseman's study says something important about stress and creativity, and if I go just go for a zizz I may be able to work out what it is.’
    nap, doze, rest, siesta, drowse, catnap

intransitive verb

[no object]informal
  • 1Make a whizzing or buzzing sound.

    • ‘the crane whirred and zizzed’
    • ‘When you've spent two weeks zizzing around on the hyper-fast, hyper-efficient French trains, the UK railways just don't compare.’
    • ‘But there's such a thing as having everything too well sorted out by half, a fly caught in amber when it should still be zizzing busily around.’
    • ‘We dawdled in the general direction of the city and then sat around in Bow looking down at the cars zizzing past at high speed.’
    • ‘So anyhow, after a day of being generally limp and lazy, I zizzed over to Mark's and we drove into London.’
    • ‘I collected the keys from the estate agent, as tradition dictates, and then zizzed around in the car.’
    • ‘Despite the half inch of snow the trains were running on time and zizzed into London at untold speeds.’
    • ‘I stayed there until far too late and then zizzed back into town for dinner with Phil and Kate.’
    • ‘It was very peaceful (bar the sound of the A12 zizzing past) and more than a little spooky.’
    • ‘Cruised the aisles picking up recipe bits and bobs, then zizzed home to tidy the flat and start cooking.’
    hum, drone, bumble, whir, fizz, fuzz, hiss, sing, murmur, whisper
  • 2Doze; sleep.

    • ‘when everyone inside the building had zizzed off he sneaked inside’
    sleep, be asleep, doze, rest, take a siesta, nap, take a nap, catnap, drowse


Early 19th century imitative.