Phrasal Verbs

zone out

This page is about the phrasal verb zone out

American English INFORMAL


If someone zones out, they look blankly ahead without paying attention, maybe because they're tired or bored or affected by drugs.


space out (American, informal)

For example

  • zone out Peter sometimes gets bored in class and zones out. He looks like he's a million miles away.

  • be zoned out I was talking to Debbie, but she was so zoned out that she didn't even hear me.


This is typically used in American English but may be used in other varieties of English too.

Quick Quiz

I knew Jamie was zoning out because he was

a. staring at nothing

b. getting angry

c. laughing a lot

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Contributor: Matt Errey