neo·​phil·​ia ˌnē-ə-ˈfi-lē-ə How to pronounce neophilia (audio)
: love of or enthusiasm for what is new or novel
neophiliac noun

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The earliest known example of neophilia in print is from an 1899 issue of Political Science Quarterly, a publication of Columbia University. The word is a combination of the Greek-derived combining forms neo-, meaning "new," and -philia, meaning "liking for." In the 1930s, the form neophily was introduced as a synonym of neophilia, but no neophilia could save it from obscurity-it has never caught on. The opposite of neophilia is neophobia, meaning "a dread of or aversion to novelty." It has been around slightly longer than neophilia, having first appeared in 1886.

Examples of neophilia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web True happiness comes from a healthy, balanced neophilia that cultivates a love for the adventure of life. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, 27 May 2021 Similarly, if your neophilia leads to impulsiveness, consciously add in a bit of time to your decision making. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, 27 May 2021 That sort of institutional neophilia is not going to work with products like cars or factory robots, which can have much longer lifespans, says Mr Palmer. The Economist, 12 Sep. 2019 Each century seems to bring its radical transformations, from the Great Fire in the 17th to the elegant city squares of the 18th, the explosion of the suburbs of the 19th and the scars of war and the neophilia of modernism in the 20th. Edwin Heathcote, CNN, 11 May 2017

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

Word History


neo- + -philia

First Known Use

1899, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of neophilia was in 1899


Dictionary Entries Near neophilia

Cite this Entry

“Neophilia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

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