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

Lizzo resumed her fashionable adoration for neon, and arrived at the 2019 Met Gala with a major change in hair. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Lizzo Had Pink Hair for the Met Gala 2019," 7 May 2019 Goddess Mode is an answer written in neon and transformation sequences. Laura Hudson, The Verge, "Zoe Quinn’s Goddess Mode makes cyberpunk magic from the internet," 27 Dec. 2018 For the crowd, that meant shimmering dresses (Flaviana Matata rocked a chainmail-like ensemble), bright colors (Tina Leung wore a series of neon), feathers, and glitter all over. Vogue, "Feathers and French Fries: Nausheen Shah Throws Quite the Birthday at the Top of the Standard," 22 Apr. 2019 The 21-year-old wore a neon green jacket draped on one arm and held onto a black handbag in the other, all while looking away from the camera. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Kylie Jenner's Sheer T-Shirt Dress Is Just $35 and Still Available," 20 Mar. 2019 Sasha Bikoff’s Miami upbringing clearly resonated in her bold, seductive settings, which featured neon colored clouds and palm trees. Max Maeckler, Vogue, "The Most Mesmerizing Design Moments of Salone del Mobile," 18 Apr. 2019 Experience the neon lights and night markets of East Asia without the high-flying prices. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "The 10 Best Vacations You Can Take With Your Tax Refund," 18 Mar. 2019 Not far from its cramped apartment blocks and neon lights, Hong Kong has plenty of untouched land, traditionally home to a variety of animals, including wild boars. Alice Fung, The Seattle Times, "In year of the pig, Hong Kong has had enough of wild ones," 6 Feb. 2019 Make a Swish Much credit must be given to Prada, which revived its Linnea Rossa last year in flying neon colors. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "The Fall 2019 Men’s Trend Report," 25 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Onlookers first got a glimpse of the rock on the red carpet where the The Weight of These Wings singer wore a neon green sequined halter dress with dangling gemstone earrings. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Miranda Lambert Flaunted Her New Wedding Ring at the ACMs and We're Obsessed," 9 Apr. 2019 In the courtyard, Bikoff has mounted an installation filled with palm trees, glowing neon stage displays, and unique customizations of archival Versace Home classics, specially upholstered in metallic tones and shocking hues. Parker Bowie Larson, ELLE Decor, "The New Versace Home Collection Is the Fantasy of Our Candy-Colored, Neon-Tinged Dreams," 9 Apr. 2019 The neon paint, Caribbean scenery, brightly colored bikinis, and kaleidoscope beach party all reflect the singer's distinct and playful attitude. Kadeen Griffiths, Seventeen, "Check Out Nicki Minaj's 'Starships' Music Video!," 27 Apr. 2012 Visiting in support of Places2Be’s Children’s Mental Health Week, Kate chose to wear a fun green dress by Eponine, which fits perfectly into the current neon trend. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Took on the Neon Trend For Her Latest Royal Appearance in London," 5 Feb. 2019 If Kendall’s neon moment was meant to evoke confidence, Kylie’s more-is-more take here is downright fearless. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "First Kendall, Now Kylie: The Jenners’s Obsession With Neon Green Continues," 18 Jan. 2019 The subtext was there in flashing neon letters: How could a professional interlocutor, someone with decades of experience separating fact from fiction, get taken for such a ride? Abby Ellin, Marie Claire, "I Almost Married a Con Man," 8 Jan. 2019 Your once perfect little neon power ball is suddenly overtaken by a foundation tsunami, with lightning bolts of old eyeliner at every turn. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean Your Beautyblender in 3 Easy Steps, According to Experts," 2 Jan. 2019 In addition, neon green is providing a color that gets energy moving—in physical, digestive, and mental realms. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Kendall Jenner’s Been Wearing a Lot of Neon Green—Here’s What It Means," 2 Jan. 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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Statistics for neon

Last Updated

21 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for neon

The first known use of neon was in 1898

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More Definitions for neon



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

Comments on neon

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