nei·​ther | \ ˈnē-t͟hər How to pronounce neither (audio) also ˈnī- How to pronounce neither (audio) \

Definition of neither

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : not either neither black nor white
2 : also not neither did I



Definition of neither (Entry 2 of 4)

: not the one or the other of two or more



Definition of neither (Entry 3 of 4)

: not either neither hand



Definition of neither (Entry 4 of 4)

1 chiefly dialectal : either
2 : similarly not : also not just as the serf was not permitted to leave the land, so neither was his offspring— G. G. Coulton

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Frequently Asked Questions About neither

How do you pronounce neither?

Neither has two acceptable pronunciations. Its first syllable can sound like knee or like nigh.

Is it 'neither is' or 'neither are'?

Neither is usually used with a singular verb, as in "Neither one is here." But sometimes, especially when a prepositional phrase with a plural in it comes between neither and the verb, a plural verb is used, as in "Neither of those are going to work."

Does neither mean "two"?

Neither is most often an adjective meaning "not one or the other of two people or things."

Examples of neither in a Sentence

Pronoun “Which one do you want?” “Neither, thanks.” Neither of them dances well. There are two flashlights, neither of which works. Adjective “Which answer is correct?” “Neither one.”
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Recent Examples on the Web: Conjunction Neither this Denver attorney nor Gaia’s Garden has returned a request for comment. Emma Gannon, The Cannabist, "Edibles company implicated in Colorado murder lawsuit isn’t covered, insurer says," 9 May 2017 Neither the communications director nor the CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, which spends more than $20 million per year promoting wind power, would comment on the rural opposition to wind turbines. Robert Bryce, Twin Cities, "Robert Bryce: Wind is not the answer," 11 Apr. 2017 Neither the PUC nor the Legislature has a clear path to step in and amend the agreement in a way that would protect ratepayers from an IRS ruling. Mercury News Editorial Board, The Mercury News, "Editorial: Don’t make ratepayers pay for PG&E’s sins," 9 Feb. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Many chose neither to defend him nor to call on him to further explain. Anchorage Daily News, "Calls grow for Biden to address allegation," 29 Apr. 2020 Mehta said neither the corporations nor the Treasury Department showed the corporations are providing public services comparable to the tribes to combat the coronavirus. Felicia Fonseca, azcentral, "Judge sides with tribes, limits distribution of coronavirus relief," 28 Apr. 2020 Some patients say Curative’s test is neither accurate nor fast. Los Angeles Times, "L.A. is using a streamlined coronavirus test. But it has potential risks and rewards," 28 Apr. 2020 The city has neither addressed the housing crisis like a crisis nor at the scale that is needed to truly solve homelessness. oregonlive, "Portland Commissioner Position 2 candidates explain if they feel the city is doing enough to address housing, homelessness," 25 Apr. 2020 Over the course of four days, more than 500 participants at the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit challenged narratives that communities of color were neither concerned with nor actively combating environmental issues. Smithsonian Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, "Fifty Things We’ve Learned About the Earth Since the First Earth Day," 22 Apr. 2020 Although hospitals and health clinics could be required, through licensing and regulations, to keep higher inventory, this would be neither enough nor efficient. Yossi Sheffi, WSJ, "Commentary: Solving the Health-Care Equipment Supply Shortage," 10 Apr. 2020 Surfaces as varied as yoga mats and iPhone touch screens are carefully calibrated for our touch, designed to be neither too slick nor too scabrous. Adrienne Bernhard, Popular Mechanics, "How the Obscure Science of Rubbing Built the Past and Will Shape the Future," 7 Apr. 2020 For the class of 2020, OSU swung for both Bijan Robinson — the nation’s top running back per the 247 Sports national composite — and four-star Jaylan Knighton and landed neither. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "How will Ohio State football utilize two stud running backs in one class? Buckeye Talk Text Q&A," 2 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'neither.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of neither


12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


13th century, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined above


1551, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for neither

Conjunction, Pronoun, Adjective, and Adverb

Middle English, alteration (influenced by either) of nauther, nother, from Old English nāhwæther, nōther, from nā, nō not + hwæther which of two, whether

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Time Traveler for neither

Time Traveler

The first known use of neither was in the 12th century

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Statistics for neither

Last Updated

18 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Neither.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for neither


How to pronounce neither (audio) How to pronounce neither (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of neither

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: also not



English Language Learners Definition of neither (Entry 2 of 3)

: not the one and not the other of two people or things



English Language Learners Definition of neither (Entry 3 of 3)

: not one or the other of two people or things


nei·​ther | \ ˈnē-t͟hər How to pronounce neither (audio) , ˈnī- \

Kids Definition of neither

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : not either His grades were neither good nor bad.
2 : also not Our parents did not want to go and neither did we.



Kids Definition of neither (Entry 2 of 3)

: not the one and not the other Neither of the bottles is full.



Kids Definition of neither (Entry 3 of 3)

: not either Neither answer is correct.

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More from Merriam-Webster on neither

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with neither

Spanish Central: Translation of neither

Nglish: Translation of neither for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of neither for Arabic Speakers

Comments on neither

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