Definition of zoo in English:

zoo

noun

  • 1An establishment which maintains a collection of wild animals, typically in a park or gardens, for study, conservation, or display to the public.

    • ‘Once it was only possible to see animals in zoos or in marine parks but in recent years there has been a huge growth in wildlife tourism around the world.’
    • ‘In Colombia, biologists are busy reintroducing young condors hatched in North American zoos to parks and reserves.’
    • ‘While some of the animals are kept in zoos, the Sumatran rhino is difficult to breed in captivity.’
    • ‘Studying animal in zoos has advantages, but it's no substitute for fieldwork.’
    • ‘Family trips to amusement parks, zoos, botanical gardens, and national parks will be highlighted.’
    • ‘The proceeds it makes from selling the phones go to supporting various conservation groups, primarily zoos.’
    • ‘Staff have begun moving the remaining animals out of its zoo and mothballing the fairground.’
    • ‘At one time, however, about the only way most people could see real animal predators was in zoos and circuses.’
    • ‘The trend nowadays is to loan animals from other zoos for breeding purposes.’
    • ‘We run breeding programmes in partnership with local and international zoos and swop animals to keep gene pools intact.’
    • ‘His favourite day trip would be a visit to a wildlife park or to the zoo.’
    • ‘Placement of these unwanted animals is difficult because most zoos are unwilling to take them and few sanctuary facilities exist.’
    • ‘All four animals will eventually return to zoos in China, but their offspring will be returned to wildlife reserves.’
    • ‘These animals are suffering in zoos and dying in zoos because of captivity-induced conditions.’
    • ‘So far, six codes have been approved - for layer hens, broiler chickens, pigs, circus animals, rodeos and zoos.’
    • ‘Hundreds of thousands of animals languish in zoos around the world.’
    • ‘We had a neighbour who had a private zoo and his animals would sometimes escape.’
    • ‘Effortlessly refined, he peers at his audience as if we were animals in a zoo.’
    • ‘Due to a lack of funds, some animals in the zoo are kept in small cages and some do not get enough food.’
    • ‘It is not the case that the only alternative to keeping animals in a zoo is euthanasia.’
    1. 1.1A situation characterized by confusion and disorder.
      ‘it's a zoo in the lobby’
      • ‘I was reluctant to do the Olympics because I thought it would be a zoo.’
      • ‘Through the human zoo called Paris, the driver found his way to the shop located in the middle of the entertainment part of the city.’

Origin

Mid 19th century abbreviation of zoological garden, originally applied specifically to that of Regent's Park, London.

Pronunciation

zoo

/zuː/