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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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  • Domain Name System zoneDNS zone

    A segment of the DNS namespace to which administrative authority has been delegated. For example, when sections of the root zone are delegated as top-level domains (TLDs), each TLD becomes an independently administered DNS zone. Likewise, when a TLD divides its namespace into second-level domains, it generally delegates administrative authority to each of those domains, thus creating additional DNS zones.

    A parent domain at any level in the DNS hierarchy can optionally delegate administrative authority to any or all its subdomains (children). A zone always starts at a domain boundary and includes a zone file identifies the host servers over which it has administrative authority. A zone ends at the boundary of another independently administered zone.