Geographical timezones cover the Earth in such a way that two timezones never overlap; hence, they are non-overlapping. But is there a better (shorter, without negation) word for this?

"Unfortunately he's travelling, possibly to a non-overlapping timezone, so I'm not sure when he can take the call."

Distinct and discrete come to mind, but they miss the nuance of continuously covering a surface and would not work in the sentence above (although just plain old different would).

  • 1
    How about "disjoint"?
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 8, 2017 at 23:25
  • 1
    I would think "distinct" covers it pretty much perfectly.
    – Rocky
    Mar 8, 2017 at 23:25
  • 5
    Given that overlapping timezones would be somewhat less useful than chocolate teapots, I don't really see any reason to even mention the fact that they're "non-overlapping". Just as we don't normally refer to "non-melting teapots" - they're just teapots. Mar 8, 2017 at 23:39
  • I travel to different timezones myself. The non-overlapping part is assumed. If you mean more than one apart, then nonadjacent works. Disjoint might also be used, but is too math oriented for casual English. People will not understand you. Mar 9, 2017 at 0:19
  • 1
    You could try contiguous if you really want to make the point. Mar 9, 2017 at 0:37

1 Answer 1


The timezones partition the globe (planet). That means that they do not overlap, that they are contiguous, and that they cover the entire globe.

  • I came to this q&a while searching for synonym for "non-overlapping". The OP clearly did his/her homework and the "distinct" in the question helped me. Thanks. But then why the OP accepted this answer? None of the bold words in this answer can be used to replace "non-overlapping" in the timezone example in the question. :-/
    – RayLuo
    Jun 12, 2022 at 0:37
  • @RayLuo OP here. I found plain old "different timezone" to be a good enough answer for my case, but I'm open to better answers. Jun 14, 2022 at 23:36

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