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Zoom is not even a 'real' word since it does not come from any human language, but is an imitation of a sound like 'buzz' 'burr' and 'whirr'. There is an Old Dutch and German word 'soom', referring to something that was sewn, but this is not how it was ever used in English. Nor does anyone really know when it was first used in English, but it appears to date from the 1880s and 1890s and was originally used as a verb to express speed or rapid movement of an object. One possible sentence would be 'the train zoomed past at sixty miles an hour', which would have been considered very fast in those times. Later, the word became popular in World War I among pilots to describe the speed of planes, or on the battlefield to indicate shells 'zooming overhead'. Even today "zoom" is most commonly used as a verb, although starting in the 1930s it was also used as a noun, especially for 'zoom lenses' on cameras. When used this way, of course, it does not refer to speed but the use of a lens to focus in closer on an object. Starting in the 1940s, it was also used as one-word interjection to indicate that some action or event had happened very quickly. Used as a verb, 'zoom' most often refers to the high speed of machines like cars, trains and airplanes, especially if they make a loud sound if they pass, but it can also refer to other actions and events that happen very rapidly or suddenly. A fast-moving race car can be said to 'zoom past all the others and win the race", or the price of
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