ne·​on | \ ˈnē-ˌän How to pronounce neon (audio) \

Definition of neon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a colorless odorless mostly inert gaseous element that is found in minute amounts in air and is used in electric lamps — see Chemical Elements Table
2a : a discharge lamp in which the gas contains a large proportion of neon
b : a sign composed of such lamps
c : the illumination provided by such lamps or signs

Definition of neon (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or using neon
2 : extremely bright : fluorescent neon yellow

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Other Words from neon


neoned \ ˈnē-​ˌänd How to pronounce neoned (audio) \ adjective

Examples of neon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The video, featuring RiRi herself and models Paloma Elsesser, Adesuwa, Fiffany Luu and Joan Smalls, takes place in a flashy hotel room full of neon lights, lava lamps, oversized teddy bears, and cut-outs of conversation heart candies on the walls. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "Rihanna Stars in Sultry Valentine's Day Savage x Fenty Campaign Video," 2 Jan. 2020 Wear your raddest neon shirts, side ponytails, parachute pants, fanny packs and spandex. Luann Gibbs,, "New Year's Eve events in Cincinnati: Say bye to 2019 and hi to 2020," 23 Dec. 2019 Now decked out with glittering white and turquoise Christmas trees and the glow of pink neon lights, the bar at ZuZu boasts both holiday and Hollywood glamour. Tirion Morris, azcentral, "If you like Irish coffee, try a Southwestern riff on the cocktail at this Scottsdale hotel," 19 Dec. 2019 More than a hundred Los Angeles drivers for Uber and Lyft, some in neon green and bright blue shirts, crowded into City Hall on Tuesday morning. Laura J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times, "Should Uber and Lyft drivers earn $30 per hour? Los Angeles will study a minimum wage," 16 Oct. 2019 Its bars, restaurants and golden neon lights (pictured) have been a popular draw since it was built in 2006. The Economist, "For some in China, the aim of travel is to create 15-second videos," 15 Aug. 2019 On Thursday, Jenner, 23, shared a photo of herself in front of the Proactiv Paint Positivity mural in Brooklyn, wearing an oversized neon green button-up shirt paired with blue shorts that showed off her supermodel figure. Robyn Merrett,, "Ben Simmons Likes Kendall Jenner's Instagram Photo 1 Month After Going on a 'Break'," 21 June 2019 However, not all of us can be in Palm Springs at the same time surrounded by neon lights, cacti, dust, and millions of other people. Teen Vogue, "8 Coachella-Inspired Decor Pieces That Will Make Your Dorm Feel (And Look) Like Palm Springs," 12 Apr. 2019 The only thing more captivating than the quick choreography and neon lights? Abby Gardner And Neha Prakash, Glamour, "Selena Gomez Performs Live for the First Time in Two Years at the 2019 AMAs," 25 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Their first full-service place broadcasts their unmistakable brand of irreverence from the front window with a neon sign greeting passersby in the same custom bubble font used on the menu: HI HI. Hannah Goldfield, The New Yorker, "In Cobble Hill, the HiHi Room Stands Alone," 10 Jan. 2020 Smith-Schuster, clad almost entirely in neon colors, talked about reasons for hope in 2020. Tom Schad, USA TODAY, "'It just sucks': Pittsburgh Steelers' roller-coaster season ends with a thud in Baltimore," 30 Dec. 2019 So placing a neon work here would be a no-brainer, especially one that showers you with good luck. Kristen Bateman, Vogue, "Meet the Neon Light Artist Beloved by New York Cool Girls," 15 Jan. 2019 The Air Zoom Pulse shoes are available in both black and neon blue, as well as six other versions designed by hospital patients as part of the Doernbecher Freestyle Program. Hanna Flanagan,, "Nike Designs Shoes Especially for Hospital Workers," 15 Nov. 2019 Geese are hatching goslings on little Hat Lake, the meadows are neon green, wildflowers are popping and the views are sensational looking up at Lassen Peak. Tom Stienstra,, "A ‘Midsummer Night’s Spring’ brings Lassen Park to life," 14 Aug. 2019 The Apple Watch Nike+ Series 4 comes in 40mm and 44mm sizes, and it can be bought as a package with any of the aforementioned bands, minus the black and neon yellow ones. Dani Deahl, The Verge, "New Apple Watch Nike+ Series 4 has launched with limited quantity in stores," 5 Oct. 2018 With its neon signs, purple lighting and hip atmosphere, Phlavz Bar & Grille looks less like a casual eatery and more like a place where celebrities go to hang out. Grace Wong,, "Try jerk chicken egg rolls in University Village, plus more Chicago restaurant openings and closings," 11 Dec. 2019 But last year, El Vado stirred back to life as a boutique motel that retained many of its original designs, such as its Spanish Pueblo Revival architecture, its vigas (timber ceilings) and its neon sign. Andrea Sachs, Washington Post, "Albuquerque," 11 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'neon.' 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 neon


1898, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1904, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for neon


borrowed from Greek néon, neuter of néos "young, fresh, new" — more at new entry 1

Note: Name given to the gas by its discoverers, the British chemists William Ramsay (1852-1916) and Morris William Travers (1872-1961) in "On the Companion of Argon," Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, vol. 63 (1898), p. 438. According to a later account by Travers, the Latin name novum, "new," for the gas was suggested by William Ramsay's 13-year old son, and rendered in Greek by Ramsay to match the names of other recently discovered gases (see Morris W. Travers, The Discovery of the Rare Gases, London, 1928, p. 96).

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Learn More about neon

Statistics for neon

Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Neon.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 17 January 2020.

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More Definitions for neon


How to pronounce neon (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of neon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a type of gas that is used in brightly colored electric signs and lights

English Language Learners Definition of neon (Entry 2 of 2)

: using neon
: extremely bright


ne·​on | \ ˈnē-ˌän How to pronounce neon (audio) \

Kids Definition of neon

: a colorless gaseous chemical element found in very small amounts in the air and used in electric lights


ne·​on | \ ˈnē-ˌän How to pronounce neon (audio) \

Medical Definition of neon

: a colorless odorless primarily inert gaseous element found in minute amounts in air and used in electric lamps symbol Ne — see Chemical Elements Table

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More from Merriam-Webster on neon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with neon

Spanish Central: Translation of neon

Nglish: Translation of neon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of neon for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about neon

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