ground zero


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Related to ground zero: World Trade Center

ground zero

The site of any disaster; specifically, and often capitalized (Ground Zero), the site of New York’s World Trade Center, wrecked by airplanes on September 11, 2001. Originally the term designated the central point of a nuclear detonation or similar large blast, but since the attacks of 2001, often referred to simply as nine-eleven, it has been used both specifically and metaphorically. It was first used with reference to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 and then was extended to other disasters, such as earthquakes. Referring to the economic downturn, a character in Ian Rankin’s novel The Complaints (2009) asked, “Does nobody realize this is Credit Crunch Ground Zero?”
See also: ground, zero