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1925, zip +‎ -er. The trade name was registered in 1925 by B.F. Goodrich for “boots made of rubber and fabric,” claiming use of the name since June 1923. No longer a registered trademark.



zipper (plural zippers)

  1. (chiefly US, Australia) A zip fastener.
    He got his T-shirt stuck in the zipper of his jacket.
  2. A pressure-sensitive plastic closure.
  3. (biochemistry) A leucine zipper.
  4. (slang) A scar on a person's body.
    • 1969, Jerry Kramer, Farewell to football, page 111:
      I also competed in track and field at Idaho, and it's all because of putting the shot that I've got my long scar, my zipper, down the back of my neck.
    • 1979, Don Atyeo, Blood & guts, violence in sports, page 227:
      Making the transition from high school to college teams, for instance, he could not believe the scars his new players were sporting. "So many athletes had zippers down the side of their knee, or knees; they thought nothing of it and called this or that a Band-Aid operation. []
  5. (US, military, slang, dated) An air patrol carried out at dawn or dusk.
    • 1949, Walter Karig, Battle Report:
      [] the usual gap between the time the last strike of the day departed and the first night hecklers arrived was closed with "zippers" — night fighters who, using day fighter tactics, proceeded to the target in daylight in time to relieve the last day blanket patrol.
    • 1993, E. T. Wooldridge, Carrier Warfare in the Pacific: An Oral History Collection, page 268:
      They would handle all the night combat air patrols, the night hecklers who would go over the enemy airfields, and we formed a new little gimmick called "zippers" to help close that gap between the time the daylight strikes left the target and darkness.
  6. (BDSM) A string of clothes pegs or clips attached to the body and then quickly pulled off.
  7. (programming) A technique for arbitrarily traversing an aggregate data structure and updating its contents. See zipper (data structure).



Derived terms[edit]


  • Cebuano: siper
  • Esperanto: zipo
  • French: zipper
  • Japanese: ジッパー (jippā)
  • Korean: 지퍼 (jipeo)
  • Portuguese: zíper
  • Spanish: zíper
  • Tagalog: siper



zipper (third-person singular simple present zippers, present participle zippering, simple past and past participle zippered)

  1. to close a zipper.
    He zippered his sweater against the cold.
  2. to put a zipper on an article.
    These fall jackets are zippered.



Borrowed from English zip.




  1. (computing) to zip, compress
    Synonym: compresser
  2. (Quebec) to zip up (close using a zip)


Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]