Dictionary: ZIR'CON – ZO-ON'O-MY

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Called also jargon of Ceylon, a mineral originally found in Ceylon, in the sands of rivers, along with spinel, sapphire, tourmalin, and iron sand. Zircon, hyacinth, and zirconite, are regarded as varieties of the same species. They are essentially composed of zirconia, with silex, and a minute portion of iron. The primitive form of the crystals is an octahedron, composed of two four-sided prisms. The common form is a rectangular four-sided prism. – Haüy. Brongniart. Cyc.


An oxyd of the metal zirconium, discovered by Klaproth, in the year 1789, in the zircon of Ceylon, and subsequently in the hyacinth of Expaily in France. It resembles alumine in appearance. It is so hard as to scratch glass. When pure it is a white powder.


A variety of the zircon.


The metallic basis of zirconia. Berzelius first obtained zirconium in 1824; but Davy had previously rendered its existence quite probable. It is commonly obtained in the form of a black powder. Its metallic character is questioned by some.

ZIV'O-LO, n.

A bird resembling the yellow hammer, and by some considered as the same species. – Dict. Nat. Hist.

ZIZ'EL, n.

A rodent mammal, the Arctomys Citillus. It is found in Russia and Germany, and also in Asia. It is the suslik, often called the earless marmot. It is a small quadruped.

ZOC'CO, n. [or ZO'CLE, or ZOC'CO-LO. It. zoccolo; from L. soccus, a soak.]

A square body under the base of a pedestal, &c., serving for the support of a bust, statue or column. – Cyc.

ZO'DI-AC, n. [Fr. zodiaque; It. and Sp. zodiaco; L. zodiacus; Gr. ζωδιακος, from ζωον, an animal.]

  1. A broad circle in the heavens, containing the twelve signs through which the sun passes in its annual course. The center of this belt is the ecliptic, which is the path of the sun. It intersects the equator at an angle of about twenty three degrees and twenty eight minutes. This is called its obliquity.
  2. A girdle. – Milton.


Pertaining to the zodiac. Zodiacal light, a luminous track of an elongated triangular figure, lying nearly in the ecliptic, its base being on the horizon, and its apex at varying altitudes. In the evening after twilight, it is in this latitude most conspicuous from January to April, and in the morning before dawn, from September to December. Its nature is unknown.

ZO'HAR, n. [Heb.]

A Jewish book of cabalistic commentaries on Scripture. – Brande.

ZOIS'ITE, n. [from Van Zois, its discoverer.]

A mineral regarded as a variety of epidote. It occurs in deeply striated rhomboidal prisms, much compressed and rounded; its colors gray, yellowish or bluish gray, brown, grayish yellow, or reddish white. – Cleaveland. This is called also a subspecies of prismatoidal augite. – Cyc. Thomson.

ZONE, n. [L. zona; Gr. ζωνη.]

  1. A girdle. An embroider'd zone surrounds her waist. – Dryden.
  2. In geography, a division of the earth, with respect to the temperature of different latitudes. The zones are five; the torrid zone, extending from tropic to tropic 46° 56', or 23° 28' on each side of the equator; two temperate or variable zones, situated between the tropics and polar circles; and two frigid zones, situated between the polar circles and the poles.
  3. Circuit; circumference. – Milton. Ciliary zone, in anatomy, the black impression of the ciliary processes on the vitreous humor of the eye. – Cyc.

ZON-ED, a.

Wearing a zone. – Pope.


A belt or girdle, which the Christians and Jews in the Levant are obliged to wear, to distinguish them from the Mohammedans. – Cyc.

ZO-OG'RA-PHER, n. [See Zoography.]

One who describes animals, their forms and habits.


Pertaining to the description of animals.

ZO-OG'RA-PHY, n. [Gr. ζωον, an animal, and γραφω, to describe.]

A description of animals, their forms and habits. [But zoology is generally used.]

ZO-OL'A-TRY, n. [Gr. ζωον and λατρεια.]

The worship of animals.

ZO'O-LITE, n. [Gr. ζωον, an animal, and λιθος, stone.]

An animal substance petrified or fossil. – Morin.

ZO-O-LOG'IC-AL, a. [from zoology.]

Pertaining to zoology, or the science of animals.


According to the principles of zoology. – Lawrence.

ZO-OL'O-GIST, n. [from zoology.]

One who is well versed in the natural history of animals, or who describes animals.

ZO-OL'O-GY, n. [Gr. ζωον, an animal, and λογος, discourse.]

That part of natural history which treats of the structure, habits, classification, and habitations of all animals, from man to the lowest of all the tribes.

ZO-ON'IC, a. [Gr. ζωον, an animal.]

Pertaining to animals; obtained from animal substances.

ZO-ON'O-MY, n. [Gr. ζωον, an animal, and νομος, law.]

The laws of animal life, or the science which treats of the phenomena of animal life, their causes and relations. – Darwin.