ne·​o·​nate ˈnē-ə-ˌnāt How to pronounce neonate (audio)
: a newborn child
especially : a child less than a month old

Examples of neonate in a Sentence

the hospital has added a new wing especially for neonates
Recent Examples on the Web In some cases, the kittens are neonates in need of 24/7 care and special equipment, like incubators, formula, syringes, bottles, medications and a dedicated volunteer who will feed them every two hours, including during the night. USA TODAY, 27 Apr. 2024 The harmful effects of probiotics can also emerge due to people suffering from chronic illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, liver cirrhosis, high blood pressure, neonates, asthmatic patients, stomach ulcers. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 6 Jan. 2024 The transition from a human womb to an artificial womb has to be seamless in order to stop the natural process of a fetus turning into a neonate. Bloomberg Wire, Dallas News, 14 Sep. 2023 In the summer months, most of their prey is very strong and healthy, so wolves are primarily feeding on neonates—newborn elk and bison calves, and sometimes even pronghorn calves. Katie Hill, Outdoor Life, 23 Aug. 2023 The brain of a developing fetus or neonate could be especially vulnerable. Anthony King, Scientific American, 13 June 2023 In Western countries, neonates born with cataracts typically receive surgery shortly after birth. Cordula Hölig, Scientific American, 12 May 2023 Yet none of the vast diversity of anesthetic agents work in a consistent manner across all patients, who range from neonates to birthing mothers, the very elderly or the very sick. Christof Koch, Scientific American, 1 Nov. 2017 One drug has been approved for human use, but only in neonates, so researchers would still need to determine dosages for grown adults. Kerry Breen, CBS News, 12 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'neonate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from New Latin neonatus (short for infans neonatus, neo-natus puerulus, etc.), from neo- neo- + Latin natus, past participle of nāscī "to be born" — more at nation

First Known Use

1925, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of neonate was in 1925

Dictionary Entries Near neonate

Cite this Entry

“Neonate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition


ne·​o·​nate ˈnē-ə-ˌnāt How to pronounce neonate (audio)
: a newborn infant
especially : an infant less than a month old
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!