zip code

a system used in the U.S. to facilitate the delivery of mail, consisting of a five- or nine-digit code printed directly after the address, the first five digits (initial code) indicating the state and post office or postal zone, the last four (expanded code) the box section or number, portion of a rural route, building, or other specific delivery location.
[1960-65, Amer.; Z(one) I(mprovement) P(rogram)]

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System of postal-zone codes (zip stands for "zone improvement plan") introduced in the U.S. in 1963 to improve mail delivery and exploit electronic reading and sorting capabilities.

The original code, which corresponds to the postal codes used in most countries in the world, consists of five numbers. The first three identify the state and portion of the state, the last two a specific post office or zone. In 1983 a nine-digit code (created by adding a hyphen and four digits) was introduced to further speed delivery; the first two added digits specify a particular "sector," the last two an even smaller "segment" (e.g., one side of a city block, or a single floor in a large building).

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in full  Zone Improvement Plan Code 

      system of zone coding introduced by the U.S. Post Office Department (now the U.S. Postal Service) in 1963 to facilitate the sorting and delivery of mail. After an extensive publicity campaign, the department finally succeeded in eliciting from the public a widespread acceptance of the ZIP code. Users of the mails were requested to include in all addresses a five-number code, of which the first three digits identified the section of the country to which the item was destined and the last two digits the specific post office or zone of the addressee. The primary purpose of the zone coding system was to fully exploit the capabilities of electronic reading and sorting equipment.

      The U.S. Postal Service introduced a nine-digit ZIP Code in 1983. The new code, composed of the original five digits plus a hyphen and four additional numbers, was designed to speed up automated sorting operations. The first two of the four extra digits specify a particular sector, such as a group of streets or cluster of large buildings. The last two digits of the expanded code represent an even smaller area called a segment, which may consist of one side of a city block, a single floor in a large building, or a group of post office boxes.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • zip-code — /zip kohd /, v.t., zip coded, zip coding. to provide or mark with a zip code: Zip code all mail. Also, ZIP code, Zip code. * * * Zip Code, Zip code, zip code, or ZIP Code, U.S. a five digit number used to identify a mail delivery zone in the… …   Useful english dictionary

  • ZIP-Code — Zonen in den USA Br …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • ZIP Code — Zonen in den USA Der ZIP Code [ˈzɪp ˌkoʊd] (Abkürzung für Zone Improvement Plan) ist der Postleitzahlen Code des Postdienstleisters der Vereinigten Staaten, United States Postal Service. Es handelt sich dabei um einen 5 stelligen Code. Jede der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • ZIP code — (z[i^]p k[=o]d ), n. [zone improvement plan.] any one of a set of numbers assigned by the United States Postal Service to designate a particular postal delivery area. One or more zip codes are assigned to each post office. The numbers initially… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • zip-code — /zip kohd /, v.t., zip coded, zip coding. to provide or mark with a zip code: Zip code all mail. Also, ZIP code, Zip code. * * * …   Universalium

  • ZIP Code — ZIP (Zone Improvement Plan) Code Established in 1963, the system of 5 digit codes that identifies the individual post office or metropolitan area delivery station associated with an address. The first three digits identify the delivery area of a… …   Glossary of postal terms

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  • ZIP Code — ☆ ZIP Code [zip ] [Z(one) I(mprovement) P(lan)] service mark for a system of code numbers assigned by the postal service to be used as part of the mailing address: each code designates a delivery area n. [usually zip c ] such a code number,… …   English World dictionary

  • zip-code — (z[i^]p k[=o]d ), v. t. to affix a {zip code} to (an address or a letter). [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • zip code — zip 4 zip + 4 (z[i^]p pl[u^]s f[=o]r ), n. a full nine digit {zip code}. See {zip code}. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • zip code — (also ZIP code) ► NOUN US ▪ a postal code consisting of five or nine digits. ORIGIN acronym from zone improvement plan …   English terms dictionary

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