neophyte

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noun neo·phyte \ˈnē-ə-ˌfīt\

Definition of neophyte

  1. 1 :  a new convert :  proselyte

  2. 2 :  novice 1

  3. 3 :  tyro, beginner a neophyte when it comes to computers neophytes fresh from graduate schools of business

neophyte was our Word of the Day on 07/18/2015. Hear the podcast!

Examples of neophyte in a Sentence

  1. neophytes are assigned an experienced church member to guide them through their first year

Recent Examples of neophyte from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'neophyte'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Neophyte is hardly a new addition to the English language (it's been part of the English vocabulary since the 1300s), but it wasn't in general use before the 19th century. When it was used in a 16th-century translation of the Bible, some folks derided it as pretentious and Latinate. One critic lumped it with other "ridiculous inkhorn terms" and another went as far as to write, "Neophyte, to a bare Englishman is nothing at all." The criticisms of "neophyte" weren't entirely justified, given the word's long history in English, but it is true that "neophyte" has classical roots. It traces back through Late Latin to the Greek neophytes, meaning "newly planted or "newly converted."

Origin and Etymology of neophyte

Middle English, from Late Latin neophytus, from Greek neophytos, from neophytos newly planted, newly converted, from ne- + phyein to bring forth — more at be


First Known Use: 14th century

Other Religion (Eastern and Other) Terms


NEOPHYTE Defined for English Language Learners

neophyte

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noun

Definition of neophyte for English Language Learners

  • : a person who has just started learning or doing something

  • : a person who has recently joined a religious group


NEOPHYTE Defined for Kids

neophyte

play
noun neo·phyte \ˈnē-ə-ˌfīt\

Definition of neophyte for Students

  1. 1 :  beginner, novice

  2. 2 :  a new convert



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