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

On Tuesday, Eilish posted a photo of her manicure to her Instagram Story, featuring four neon green spiked nails with one missing from her ring finger, which is covered in blood and only has half of the real nail intact. Katie Intner,, "Billie Eilish Accidentally Ripped Off Her Acrylic Nail and Shared the Aftermath on Instagram," 1 Aug. 2019 Here’s the thing: When chip comes to dip, there is no substitute for fresh avocado, and the neon-green mush that comes vacuum-sealed in the refrigerator aisle just does not compare. Alex Pastron, Bon Appétit, "The Best Guacamole Is the Guacamole You Make Yourself," 26 July 2019 At launch, Twitter's design spelled out the company's name in a neon-green typeface that looked like flubber. Arielle Pardes, WIRED, "The Inside Story of Twitter's New Redesign," 15 July 2019 Mesh, crop tops, and neon green seemed to be the theme at this year’s parade while attendees hair and makeup matched their showstopping attire. Nandi Howard, Essence, "The Best Fashion Moments From NYC Pride 2019," 1 July 2019 The colors: a bright red upper, a neon-green outsole. Gary Peterson, The Mercury News, "New Stephen Curry shoes can tell you how loud the crowd is," 17 June 2019 The generous aunt surprised the baby girl with a mini neon-green Mercedes-Benz G-Class from Mercedes Beverly Hills to twin with her mother, Kim Kardashian. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kim Kardashian's Daughter, Chicago West, Gets a Mini Mercedes G-Wagon to Match with Mom," 16 Jan. 2019 Inside, an obelisk-like stalagmite stood sentinel atop a mound decked with moss and neon-green ferns. Patrick Scott, WSJ, "A Blow-Your-Mind Adventure in Vietnam’s Caves," 13 Nov. 2018 The cover art features the band's name in neon lights with a rainbow backdrop. Erin Davis And Nadeem Muaddi, CNN, "Happy days are ahead for Blink-182 fans: The band just unveiled details of its new album, 'NINE'," 26 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Among other customizations, Lewis Thorpe had the Australian flag on one shoe and kangaroos in neon orange on the other. Betsy Helfand, Twin Cities, "Twins’ Byron Buxton nears rehab assignment," 23 Aug. 2019 The brand started out targeting male customers who wanted comfortable, athletic clothes that looked more sophisticated than the baggy gym (and sometimes neon-colored) brands of the past. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Encinitas yoga brand founded by ex-Dolce & Gabbana model gets $45M to expand," 20 Aug. 2019 Paintings and posters cover the walls, and neon signs and mannequins dangle from the ceiling. Roger Naylor, azcentral, "Floating tiki bar, haunted pub crawl: 10 places for end-of-summer road trips in Arizona," 14 Aug. 2019 Protesters decked out in neon orange, yellow, and green vests called on National Grid to repair gas leaks across the state at a rally in Boston on Wednesday. Aidan Ryan,, "Rally calls for National Grid to repair gas leaks," 31 July 2019 For the 2018–19 season, the Rockets guard carefully planned his daring and dashing ensembles, pairing his signature beard with everything from bright floral prints to neon suits and more. Jamie Lisanti,, "Fashionable 50," 18 July 2019 The seating options are neon-colored chairs that pop in an aesthetic way, making the inside more inviting and noticeable to gym-goers who walk past the room. Yadira Sanchez Olson, Lake County News-Sun, "Anonymous donation brightens up Waukegan Public Library branch in fitness center," 18 May 2018 Ali Goldstein/Netflix For the past two seasons, GLOW has been the most fun series on Netflix, finding joy in everything from neon spandex to clumsy wrestling. Pilot Viruet, Vox, "GLOW season 3 loses some of its trademark fun amid all the bloat," 13 Aug. 2019 On a more colorful note, Tracey Ellis Ross embraced executive realness in the heat, sporting a bubblegum pink Fenty suit and neon yellow top. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "The Best Fashion Instagrams of the Week: Miley Cyrus , Cardi B, and More," 10 Aug. 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

27 Aug 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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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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