Word of the Day

Zoom shirt

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Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter


a nice-looking, presentable shirt or blouse, kept within arm’s reach, used for sudden videoconferences

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary

Origin and usage

The compound noun Zoom shirt is formed from the name of the videoconferencing app Zoom and the noun shirt. It was first mentioned in print in an article in the New York Times in June 2020.


One of the more entertaining terms to emerge from the fact that many more people than usual have been working from home is the recent coinage Zoom shirt. This refers to a smart item of clothing for the top part of our body that is kept at hand and can be hastily put on in the event of a videoconferencing meeting. The question of how we would categorize Zoom shirt for the thesaurus is an interesting one as it falls into multiple categories: Shirts, t-shirts and tops, obviously, but perhaps also Clothing worn over other clothes, or Clothes only worn around the house, or even Official meetings and conferences. You can explore these and other entries in the Macmillan thesaurus by clicking on the links under ‘Explore related topics’ at the end of each thesaurus entry. Zoom shirt is a recent entry in our crowdsourced Open Dictionary, submitted last month by an on-the-ball user in Poland. If you have a word or phrase you would like to submit you can do so here.


If you ask, people who have managed to stay employed during the pandemic will confess to owning a Zoom Shirt: a top, typically kept on the back of the computer chair or a hanger nearby, that they pop on in the moments before their webcam lights up.

With virtual video conferencing as the only contact with our colleagues, one item of clothing that has become essential is the so-called “Zoom shirt”.

“If nobody is going to see you, or if you know they can only see you from one angle, it’s easy to see why Zoom shirts became a thing.”

Related words

blouse, dicky, oxford, polo shirt, shirt, tunic

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

About the author

Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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