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ICANN Acronyms and Terms

ICANN has hundreds of acronyms and terms, which can be confusing. We created this multilingual tool to help explain what these terms mean and facilitate your work within the ICANN community. Search for terms by name or acronym using the search bar, or search by letter. All acronyms and terms are available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish.

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  • zone file

    A file on an authoritative name server that defines the contents of a zone in the Domain Name System. Resource records (RRs) in a zone file identify the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses of the hosts (e.g., web servers, mail servers) and name servers within the name server’s zone. A zone file can also contain other types of RRs (such as ones containing digital signatures) as determined by the zone owner. The RRs in a zone file enable an authoritative name server to respond definitively to DNS queries about the contents of a zone.