- zone (n.)
- late 14c., from Latin zona "geographical belt, celestial zone," from Greek zone "a belt, the girdle worn by women at the hips," related to zonnynai "to gird," from PIE root *yos- "to gird" (source also of Avestan yasta- "girt," Lithuanian juosiu "to gird," Old Church Slavonic po-jasu "girdle"). The 10c. Anglo-Saxon treatise on astronomy translates Latin quinque zonas as fyf gyrdlas.
Originally one of the five great divisions of the earth's surface (torrid, temperate, frigid; separated by tropics of Cancer and Capricorn and Arctic and Antarctic circles); meaning "any discrete region" is first recorded 1822. Zone defense in team sports is recorded from 1927.
- zone (v.)
- 1760, "mark with zones," from zone (n.). Land use planning sense is from 1916. Related: Zoned; zoning.