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

Example Sentences

the hospital has added a new wing especially for neonates
Recent Examples on the Web 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 The same study also mentioned exposure to maternal illness while in utero (other than diabetes and preeclampsia) and environmental exposures to the neonate (young infant), such as lower levels of vitamin D, that are thought to possibly play a role in the development of MS. Denise Mann, Health, 26 Jan. 2023 Salmonella kingabwa meningitis in a neonate. Rebecca Kreston, Discover Magazine, 24 Mar. 2014 The likelihood that any fetus will survive outside the uterus as a neonate is an estimate based on many factors. Cara C. Heuser, Scientific American, 4 May 2022 The neonate, or hatchling, was found at a depth of 3,940 feet (1,200 meters) on the Chatham Rise located east of New Zealand, reports Brandon Specktor for Live Science. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Feb. 2022 The woman’s cat had rejected the all-black kitten, likely because of the little one’s health condition, so the two-faced neonate would need round-the-clock human care to stay alive. Laura Barcella,, 6 Nov. 2019 All eight neonates are healthy, have shed their skin once and started dining on pinky-sized hairless baby mice. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2 Oct. 2019 See More

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 8 Jun. 2023.

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
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