neuter
Pronunciation
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈnjuːtə/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈn(j)uːtɚ/
Adjective

neuter (not comparable)

  1. (now, uncommon) Neutral; on neither side; neither one thing nor another.
    Synonyms: impartial, neutral
    • c. 1595, William Shakespeare, Richard II, Act II, Scene 3,
      But if I could, by Him that gave me life,
      I would attach you all and make you stoop
      Unto the sovereign mercy of the king;
      But since I cannot, be it known to you
      I do remain as neuter.
    • 1672, Robert South, “A Sermon Preach’d at Westminster-Abbey, on the Twenty Ninth of May, 1672. Being the Anniversary Festival appointed by Act of Parliament, for the Happy Restoration of King Charles II,” in Twelve Sermons and Discourses on Several Subjects and Occasions, London: Jonah Bowyer, 1727, 6th edition, Volume 5, page 271,
      This is certain, that in all our Undertakings God will be either our Friend or our Enemy. For Providence never stands neuter […]
    • 1724, Charles Johnson, “Of Captain Avery, and His Crew”, in A General History of the Pyrates, […], 2nd edition, London: Printed for, and sold by T. Warner, […], OCLC 2276353 ↗, pages 59-60 ↗:
      [A]s their firſt Security, they did all they could to foment War betwixt the neighbouring Negroes, remaining Neuter themselves, by which Means, thoſe who were overcome conſtantly fled to them for Protection, otherwiſe they must be either killed or made Slaves.
  2. (grammar) Having a form which is not masculine nor feminine; or having a form which is not of common gender.
    a neuter noun
    the neuter definite article
    a neuter termination
    the neuter gender
  3. (grammar) Intransitive.
    Synonyms: intransitive
    a neuter verb
  4. (biology) Sexless: having no or imperfectly developed sex organs.
    • 1859, Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species, London: John Murray, 1860, Chapter 7, page 242,
      […] I should never have anticipated that natural selection could have been efficient in so high a degree, had not the case of these neuter insects convinced me of the fact.
  5. (literary) Sexless, nonsexual.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Noun

neuter (plural neuters)

  1. (biology) An organism, either vegetable or animal, which at its maturity has no generative organs, or but imperfectly developed ones, as a plant without stamens or pistils, as the garden Hydrangea; especially, one of the imperfectly developed females of certain social insects, as of the ant and the common honeybee, which perform the labors of the community, and are called workers.
  2. A person who takes no part in a contest; someone remaining neutral.
    • 1571, Arthur Golding, The Psalmes of David and others. With M. John Calvins Commentaries, “Epistle Dedicatorie,”
      But if you should beecome eyther a counterfayt Protestant, or a perverse Papist, or a colde and carelesse newter (which God forbid) the harme could not be expressed which you should do to your native Cuntrie.
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: […], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 54573970 ↗, partition I, section 2, member 4, subsection iv:
      Friends, neuters, enemies, all are as one, to make a fool a madman is their sport […].
  3. (grammar) The neuter gender.
  4. (grammar) A noun of the neuter gender; any one of those words which have the terminations usually found in neuter words.
  5. (grammar) An intransitive verb or state-of-being verb.
    • 1820, M. Santagnello, A Dictionary of the Peculiarities of the Italian Language, G. and W. B. Whittaker, page 185 ↗:
      Make one do, or act (to), fare fare, fare agire, with an accusative when the verb is a neuter, and with a dative when otherwise.
    • 1847, Brian Houghton Hodgson, Essay the First; On the Kocch, Bódo and Dhimál Tribes, in Three Parts, J. Thomas, page 119 ↗:
      Compound verbs other than those already spoken of whereby neuters are made active, are very rare, as I have already hinted under the head of nouns.
    • 1971, Harry Hoijer, “Athapaskan Morphology”, in Jesse O. Sawyer (editor), Studies in American Indian Languages, University of California Press (1973), ISBN 978-0-520-02525-7, page 130 ↗:
      In all the Apachean languages, verbs are divided into two major categories, neuters and actives, each of which may be further divided into intransitives, transitives, and passives.
Translations
  • French: neutre
  • German: sächliches Geschlecht, Neutrum, neutrisches Geschlecht
  • Portuguese: neutro
  • Russian: сре́дний род
Translations
  • German: Neutrum, sächliches Hauptwort, sächliches Substantiv, neutrisches Hauptwort, neutrisches Substantiv
  • Portuguese: neutro
Translations
  • Russian: неперехо́дный глаго́л
Verb

neuter (neuters, present participle neutering; past and past participle neutered)

  1. To remove sex organs from an animal to prevent it from having offspring; to castrate or spay, particularly as applied to domestic animals.
  2. To rid of sexuality.
  3. To drastically reduce the effectiveness of something.
Synonyms Translations


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