neuter

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See also: Neuter

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

  • (abbreviation, grammar): n., ntr.

Etymology[edit]

Latin neuter, from ne (not) + uter (whether), a semantic loan of Koine Greek οὐδέτερος (oudéteros); compare English whether and neither.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

neuter (not generally comparable, comparative more neuter, superlative most neuter)

  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,[1]
      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,[2]
      This is certain, that in all our Undertakings God will be either our Friend or our Enemy. For Providence never stands neuter []
    • 1724, Daniel Defoe, A General History of the Pyrates, London: T. Warner, 2nd edition, Chapter 1, pages 59-60,[3]
      [] as 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.
    • 1973, Nancy Frazier, Myra Sadker, Sexism in school and society:
      A relay race that does not match teams but integrates the fastest and the slowest in one race against the most neuter of all adversaries — time.
  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,[4]
      [] 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.
    • 2000, Jan Hutson, The Chicken Ranch: The True Story of the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (ISBN 9780595128488), page 30:
      Rich girls stayed home and got married and then "put out" occasionally, but only as their wifely duty. Prior to the sexual revolution in the 1960s southern belles were the most neuter members of the human race[.]

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Noun[edit]

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,”[5]
      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.
    • 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069; The Anatomy of Melancholy, 2nd corrected and augmented edition, Oxford: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, 1624, OCLC 54573970, (please specify |partition=1, 2, or 3):
      , I.2.4.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, 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.

Quotations[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Verb[edit]

neuter (third-person singular simple present neuters, present participle neutering, simple 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.
    • 2012 June 26, Genevieve Koski, “Music: Reviews: Justin Bieber: Believe”, in The Onion AV Club[6]:
      The neutering extends to Believe’s guest stars, with warm-and-fuzzy verses from Ludacris (“I love everything about you / You’re imperfectly perfect”), Big Sean (“I don’t know if this makes sense, but you’re my hallelujah”), Nicki Minaj (who at least squeaks a “bitches” into her verse), and especially Drake, whose desire to hug and kiss the object of his affection on “Right Here” is reminiscent of The Red Hot Chili Peppers on Krusty’s Comeback Special.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Latin[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From ne (not) +‎ uter (either). In the grammatical sense, a semantic loan from Koine Greek οὐδέτερος (oudéteros).

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

neuter (feminine neutra, neuter neutrum); first/second declension

  1. neither
  2. (grammar) neuter (gender)
  3. (grammar) neuter, intransitive (of a verb)

Inflection[edit]

First/second declension, nominative masculine singular in -er, with genitive singular in -īus and dative singular in .

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
nominative neuter neutra neutrum neutrī neutrae neutra
genitive neutrīus neutrōrum neutrārum neutrōrum
dative neutrī neutrīs
accusative neutrum neutram neutrum neutrōs neutrās neutra
ablative neutrō neutrā neutrō neutrīs
vocative neuter neutra neutrum neutrī neutrae neutra

Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]

  • neuter in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • neuter in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • neuter in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • Carl Meissner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[7], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • this word is neuter: hoc vocabulum generis neutri (not neutrius) est)
    • to be neutral: nullius or neutrius (of two) partis esse
    • to be neutral: in neutris partibus esse
    • to be neutral: neutram partem sequi
  1. ^ Trisyllabic according to Allen, Vox Graeca, p. 63