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See also: néophyte



Borrowed from Latin neophytus, from Ancient Greek νεόφυτος (neóphutos), from νέος (néos, new) + φυτόν (phutón, plant, child). Surface analysis is neo- +‎ -phyte.



neophyte (plural neophytes)

  1. A beginner; a person who is new to a subject, skill, or belief.
    Synonyms: beginner, newbie, newcomer, starter
    • 2016 October 16, John Oliver, “Third Parties”, in Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, season 3, episode 26, HBO:
      Anyone who goes into a voting booth on November the 8th and comes out saying, “I feel a hundred percent great about what I just did in there!,” is either lying to themselves, or did something unspeakable in that booth! And that means, as uncomfortable as this is, everyone has to own the floors of whoever you vote for, whether they are a lying handsy narcissistic sociopath, a hawkish Wall Street-friendly embodiment of everything that some people can’t stand about politics, an ill-tempered mountain molester with a radical dangerous tax plan that even he can’t defend, or a conspiracy-pandering political neophyte with no clear understanding of how government operates and who once recorded this folk rap about the virtues of bicycling.
  2. A novice (recent convert), a new convert or proselyte, a new monk.
    Synonym: novice
  3. (Christianity) A name given by the early Christians, and still given by the Roman Catholics, to those who have recently embraced the Christian faith, and been admitted to baptism, especially those converts from heathenism or Judaism.
    Synonym: catechumen
  4. (botany) A plant species recently introduced to an area (in contrast to archaeophyte, a long-established introduced species).
    Antonym: archaeophyte




  • Random House Dictionary, 2nd Edition, 1987.

Further reading[edit]





  1. vocative masculine singular of neophytus