SYN.: θηρίονG2342, in which the brutal, bestial element is emphasized, and which is never used of sacrificial animals. On the other hand, ζ. is the more comprehensive, as expressing the vital element common to the whole animal creation (v. Tr., Syn., lxxxi; Cremer, 274).
Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon
ζῷον, τό, living being, animal, Herodotus Historicus 5.10 (of bees), Aristophanes Comicus “Vespae” 551, “Pl.” 443, etc.; πᾶν ὅ τι περ ἂν μετάσχῃ τοῦ ζῆν ζῷον ἂν λέγοιτο Plato Philosophus “Timaeus” 77b ; ζῷα, opposed to φυτά, prev. author “Phd.” 70d, 110e, etc. ; ζ. θαλάττιον, χερσαῖον, Philodemus Gadarensis Epigrammaticus “Rh.” 1.98 S .; contemptuously, ὅπως ἡ χώρα τοῦ τοιούτου ζῴου καθαρὰ γίγνηται may be free from this kind of animal (i.e. beggars), Plato Philosophus “Leges” 936c ; ζ. πονηρόν, of women, Secundus Gnomologus “Sententiae - FPG” 8. __II in art, figure, image, not necessarily of animals (compare ζῴδιον), ζῷον δέ οἱ ἐνῆν, ἀνὴρ ἱππεύς Herodotus Historicus 3.88 : mostly in plural, ζῷα ἐς τὴν ἐσθῆτα ἐγγράφειν prev. author 1.203, compare 2.4, 124, 148, Plato Philosophus “Respublica” 515a, etc. ; ζῷα γράψασθαι τὴν ζεῦξιν τοῦ Βοσπόρου to have pictures of the bridging of the Bosporus painted, Herodotus Historicus 4.88 ; compare ζωγραφέω: ζῷα ποιεῖν Plutarchus Biographus et Philosophus “Pericles” 13. __IIIsign of the Zodiac, 4th c.AD(?): Manetho Astrologus 2.166.—The word is post- Homerus Epicus , no generic word used for animal being found till after the middle of the fifth cent. BC 5th c.BC(ζώϊον 7th-6th c.BC(?): Semonides Iambographus 13, whence Attic. ζῷον by contraction: ι is found in “IG” 12.372.42, al.,11(2).161 B 76 (Delos, 3rd c.BC), Philodemus Gadarensis Epigrammaticus “Rh.” 2.166 S ., and in codices optative in the Noun; the adjective ζωός (which see) had no ι: for the compounds (except ζωγλύφος, ζωγράφος) decisive evidence is lacking: ζῳάγρια with ι was read by Aristarchus Grammaticus in Ilias Homerus Epicus “Illiad” 18.407.)