neologism

noun
ne·​ol·​o·​gism | \ nē-ˈä-lə-ˌji-zəm How to pronounce neologism (audio) \

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

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Other Words from neologism

neologistic \ nē-​ˌä-​lə-​ˈji-​stik How to pronounce neologistic (audio) \ adjective

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").

Examples of neologism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Leave it to northern Europeans to come up with a neologism to describe a complicated emotional state. Lisa Abend, Time, "In Europe, the Movement to Give Up Air Travel Is Taking Off. Could the U.S. Be Next?," 1 Aug. 2019 Allusions, dramatic asides, neologisms and flamboyant punctuation became the hallmarks of his style. Thomas Curwen, sacbee, "Tom Wolfe, novelist and pioneer of New Journalism, dies at 88 | The Sacramento Bee," 15 May 2018 To Walker's amusement, his book sometimes appeared in the art instruction section of bookstores, and his neologisms would pop up in discussions about the art of cartooning. Ali Bahrampour, chicagotribune.com, "Mort Walker, whose 'Beetle Bailey' was a comic-page staple for decades, dies at 94," 27 Jan. 2018 But the word sovranismo, a neologism that entered the common political discourse in the past couple of years, denotes something more radical than nationalism. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, "Look to Italy to understand the dangers of Trump’s racist tweets," 17 July 2019 The Savage neologism later made news in the runup to the 2012 presidential election. Kyle Peterson, WSJ, "A House Majority by ‘Any Means Necessary’," 19 Oct. 2018 Unfortunately, not all neologisms are as adorkable as, well, adorkable. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Made-Up Travel Words We Love to Hate," 18 July 2018 Allusions, dramatic asides, neologisms and flamboyant punctuation became the hallmarks of his style. Thomas Curwen, sacbee, "Tom Wolfe, novelist and pioneer of New Journalism, dies at 88 | The Sacramento Bee," 15 May 2018 To Walker's amusement, his book sometimes appeared in the art instruction section of bookstores, and his neologisms would pop up in discussions about the art of cartooning. Ali Bahrampour, chicagotribune.com, "Mort Walker, whose 'Beetle Bailey' was a comic-page staple for decades, dies at 94," 27 Jan. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of neologism

1772, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for neologism

borrowed from French néologisme "the habit of forming new words, a newly formed word," from néologie "coining of new words" (from néo- neo- + -logie -logy) + -isme -ism

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Time Traveler for neologism

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The first known use of neologism was in 1772

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Cite this Entry

“Neologism.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/neologistic?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=n&file=neolog02. Accessed 22 November 2019.

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More Definitions for neologism

neologism

noun
How to pronounce neologism (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of neologism

: a new word or expression or a new meaning of a word

neologism

noun
ne·​ol·​o·​gism | \ nē-ˈäl-ə-ˌjiz-əm How to pronounce neologism (audio) \

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

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Comments on neologism

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