neu·​ter | \ ˈnü-tər How to pronounce neuter (audio) , ˈnyü- \

Definition of neuter

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : of, relating to, or constituting the gender that ordinarily includes most words or grammatical forms referring to things classed as neither masculine nor feminine
b : neither active nor passive : intransitive
2 : taking no side : neutral
3 : lacking or having imperfectly developed or nonfunctional generative organs



Definition of neuter (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : a noun, pronoun, adjective, or inflectional form or class of the neuter gender
b : the neuter gender
2 : one that is neutral
b : a spayed or castrated animal


neutered; neutering; neuters

Definition of neuter (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

2 : to remove the force or effectiveness of

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Synonyms for neuter

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of neuter in a Sentence

Adjective The pronoun “it” is neuter. Verb She had her dog neutered by the veterinarian. The bill was neutered by the changes made by the legislature.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Spay/neuter laws Mandatory spay/neuter laws are aimed to prevent animal overpopulation, and are often enacted at the local level. Ivana Hrynkiw,, "'You can't adopt your way out of this problem': GBHS CEO responds to 'No Kill' allegations," 27 Oct. 2017 The plan to neuter hurricanes involved a series of observations and deductions, with each step built upon the last. Sam Kean, The Atlantic, "The Chemist Who Thought He Could Harness Hurricanes," 5 Sep. 2017 On Feb. 19, Wheaton, founder of the Alicia Pet Care Center, will hold the fifth annual free spay and neuter day in memory of Ford Petersen, an employee who died Feb. 11, 2013, at age 21, from a congenital heart condition. Erika I. Ritchie, Orange County Register, "Vet holding free spay and neuter day," 14 Feb. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun These cuties were old enough to be weaned and separated from their mom but needed some time to get bigger and stronger prior to their spay/neuter surgeries. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "Jackson and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week," 19 June 2020 In one room at the wildlife center on a recent day, Sara Erdmann, a certified veterinary technician who normally works at the temporarily closed West Allis spay/neuter clinic, was busy spooning dog food into dishes for 20 hungry baby raccoons. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'People are looking for love': Adoptions of dogs, cats skyrocket during coronavirus pandemic," 20 May 2020 The dogs had a host of ailments upon their rescue, including respiratory illnesses, skin issues, and physical injuries, in addition to not receiving their routine vaccines and spay/neuter surgeries. Ally Mauch,, "Over 60 Chihuahuas Rescued in Time to Find Homes For International Chihuahua Appreciation Day," 14 May 2020 Instead cat supporters advocate for humanely trapping cats, sterilizing them and returning them to their colonies, or social groups, in the wild—a process known as trap-neuter-return, or TNR. Carrie Arnold, Scientific American, "Can We Save the Woodrat without Slaughtering Cats?," 29 Mar. 2020 The organization will also continue to offer low-cost vaccinations, a free spay-and-neuter program and other pet supply programs. Anne Nickoloff, cleveland, "Organizations offer pet food assistance to Clevelanders in need," 27 Mar. 2020 Where to adopt or foster pets in Louisville: Louisville Metro Animal Services WHAT: Adoptions include spay/neuter, microchip and vaccinations. Savannah Eadens, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville animal shelters encourage people to foster, adopt during coronavirus pandemic," 21 Mar. 2020 Luckily, the wiggly, very social pup was mostly healthy and just needed a groom, along with his neuter surgery. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "Frankie and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week," 20 Mar. 2020 And why did not $1 billion in campaign spending and a 13–1 negative to positive ratio of NBC/MSNBC and CNN media coverage of the presidency neuter Trump or his party after two years of governance? Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Trump the Uniter?," 20 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Kittens and cats that need to be medicated, spayed and neutered, that need to find homes for fostering and adoption. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Cocktails for Kittens — how Quinn Cummings stirred up a boozy lockdown fundraiser," 23 Apr. 2020 Whatever factors in the past that would have normally neutered Buttigieg’s grandiose idea of jumping from the top executive of a city of 100,000 directly to the White House gave way this time. cleveland, "Pete Buttigieg is on the attack in Iowa," 1 Feb. 2020 As is standard in rescue and shelter adoptions, each dog has been neutered or spayed, microchipped and is up to date on vaccinations and preventative heartworm medication. Jayme Deerwester, USA TODAY, "Mississippi hotel will let you adopt a dog on site – and it can move right into your room," 22 Nov. 2019 With the traditional mechanics of federal regulation effectively neutered, savvy public interest lawyers turned to more creative approaches. Scott W. Stern, The New Republic, "How War Made the Cigarette," 25 Sep. 2019 In addition to his irresistible orange and white fur, Pirate Cat's identifiable features include a clipped ear, which signals he is neutered and should be left free to roam. Tony Cook, Indianapolis Star, "The mysterious disappearance of Pirate Cat, the Monon's famous feline," 4 Apr. 2020 Starting today, Michigan pet owners won't be able to get their animals neutered or spayed amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Bisma Parvez, Detroit Free Press, "Gov. Whitmer signs order restricting non-essential vet procedures amid coronavirus crisis," 31 Mar. 2020 For five years Hershey and a growing team trapped and neutered practically around the clock. Carrie Arnold, Scientific American, "Can We Save the Woodrat without Slaughtering Cats?," 29 Mar. 2020 That, perhaps, is a little less in the bag, but the Kremlin’s operatives are dab hands at suppressing protests and neutering the press. The Economist, "Russia’s president reluctantly agrees to 16 more years in power," 12 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'neuter.' 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 neuter


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1903, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for neuter


Middle English neutre, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French neutre, from Latin neuter, literally, neither, from ne- not + uter which of two — more at no, whether entry 2

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Time Traveler for neuter

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The first known use of neuter was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Neuter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for neuter


How to pronounce neuter (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of neuter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

grammar, in some languages : of or belonging to the class of words (called a gender) that ordinarily includes most of the words referring to things that are neither masculine nor feminine



English Language Learners Definition of neuter (Entry 2 of 2)

: to remove the sex organs from (an animal)
disapproving : to make (something) much less powerful or effective


neu·​ter | \ ˈnü-tər How to pronounce neuter (audio) , ˈnyü- \
neutered; neutering

Kids Definition of neuter

: to remove the sex glands and especially the testes from : castrate neuter a dog


neu·​ter | \ ˈn(y)üt-ər How to pronounce neuter (audio) \

Medical Definition of neuter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a spayed or castrated animal (as a cat)

Medical Definition of neuter (Entry 2 of 2)

: castrate sense 1, alter a neutered cat

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More from Merriam-Webster on neuter

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for neuter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with neuter

Spanish Central: Translation of neuter

Nglish: Translation of neuter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of neuter for Arabic Speakers

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