Definition of neologism
1 : a new word, usage, or expression technological neologisms
2 psychology : a new word that is coined especially by a person affected with schizophrenia and is meaningless except to the coiner, and is typically a combination of two existing words or a shortening or distortion of an existing word
neologisticplay \nē-ˌä-lə-ˈji-stik\ adjective
neologism was our Word of the Day on 01/14/2017. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of neologism from the Web
Fake news — a neologism to describe stories that are just not true, like Pizzagate, and a term now co-opted to characterize unfavorable news — has given new urgency to the teaching of media literacy.
Unaware of any word that could describe her situation, Webster saw an opportunity for neologism.
Instead, these books feature a new kind of mutant—wonky business writers endowed with bulging brainpans and killer neologisms.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'neologism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
The English language is constantly picking up neologisms. Recently, for example, computer technology has added a number of new terms to the language. "Webinar," "malware," "netroots," and "blogosphere" are just a few examples of modern-day neologisms that have been integrated into American English. The word neologism was itself a brand-new coinage at the beginning of the 19th century, when English speakers first borrowed it from the French nèologisme. Its roots, however, are quite old. Ultimately, "neologism" comes from Greek neos (meaning "new") and "logos" (meaning "word").
Origin and Etymology of neologism
French néologisme, from ne- + log- + -isme -ism
First Known Use: 1772See Words from the same year
NEOLOGISM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of neologism for English Language Learners
: a new word or expression or a new meaning of a word
Medical Definition of neologism
: a new word that is coined especially by a person affected with schizophrenia, is meaningless except to the coiner, and is typically a combination of two existing words or a shortening or distortion of an existing word
Seen and Heard
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