neu·ter | \ˈnü-tər, 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

3a : worker sense 2

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

alter, desex, fix

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Examples of neuter in a Sentence


The pronoun “it” is neuter.


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

Cooper's special $50 adoption fee includes neuter, current vaccines and microchip. Peggy Calhoun, idahostatesman, "Canyon County Pet of the Week: Cooper," 2 July 2018 His adoption fee includes current vaccines, neuter, and microchip. Peggy Calhoun, idahostatesman, "Canyon County Pet of the Week: Gus-Gus," 20 June 2018 Adopters will get free license, vaccines, spay/neuter surgery and microchip for all adult animals. Angela Forburger, azcentral, "Pets continue to flood Arizona animal shelters following monsoon storms," 12 July 2018 Subsidiaries include an intake center, two animal shelters, a low-cost spay/neuter and vaccine clinic, wildlife rehabilitation center, humane education center, and resale shop. Sue Ellen Ross, Post-Tribune, "Critter Camp gives Northwest Indiana kids a hands-on approach to nature," 7 July 2018 Mimoso’s adoption fee includes his neuter surgery, current vaccinations, a microchip and a free follow-up wellness exam with a VCA Animal Hospital. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "Adopt a dog or cat from metro Phoenix shelters this week," 5 July 2018 Here, animal rights activists and ecologists have been squaring off for the last decade over a practice known at trap, neuter, and return, in which feral cats are captured, sterilized and vaccinated, then allowed to roam free. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Australian Feral Cats Eat More Than a Million Reptiles Per Day," 26 June 2018 White said In addition to the adoption events, the foundation provides spay/neuter funding to pet owners, maintains a network of nearly 40 local rescue agencies and animal shelters, and works on projects that benefit homeless animals. Karen Pearlman,, "Rescue event for animals at Grossmont Center coming soon," 25 June 2018 There simply is no room, and that neuters players such as Jordi Alba, whose great strength in an attacking sense is his capacity to run beyond the opposition's back line. Jonathan Wilson,, "Spain Stable but Still Finding Footing at World Cup Under Band-Aid Manager Hierro," 20 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Additionally, pet owners can help prevent mammary tumors by considering spaying and neutering their dog. Texas A&m University, Houston Chronicle, "Pet Talk: Mammary tumors in dogs," 20 June 2018 Oliver, 3, is a 10-pound neutered male Domestic Shorthair. Peggy Calhoun, idahostatesman, "Ada County Pet of the Week: Oliver," 12 June 2018 All dogs adopted from HSNT are spayed or neutered before going to their forever homes, so Rebel's new family will not have that same kind of surprise. star-telegram, "Adopt me! Meet Rebel," 24 Apr. 2018 Muggs, 8 months, is a 50-pound neutered male German Shepherd mix. Peggy Calhoun, idahostatesman, "Ada County Pet of the Week: Muggs," 20 June 2018 Bring proof of county residence and your dog or cat's vaccine and spay/neutered documentation., "Plantation and Sunrise area events, June 6-16," 5 June 2018 Though the city does not have breed-specific legislation, Villaraigosa in 2008 signed an ordinance unrelated to the pit bull debate requiring all cats and dogs be spayed and neutered after the age of four months. Michael Livingston,, "2005 battle over pit bulls revived for some dog lovers considering California's governor's race," 23 May 2018 The city will consider spaying and neutering feral cat colonies, opening a shelter for cats and more humane methods of euthanizing feral cats. Don Sweeney, sacbee, "Police shot feral cats in this Iowa town until an outcry put the practice on hold | The Sacramento Bee," 16 Apr. 2018 Most pets from Wisconsin Humane Societies are spayed or neutered. Lainey Seyler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Totally pawsome offer: Wisconsin Humane Societies are waiving cat adoption fees in July," 5 July 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near neuter







neutral axis

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Time Traveler for neuter

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

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More Definitions for neuter



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)

: to make (something) much less powerful or effective


neu·ter | \ˈnü-tər, 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 \

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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Comments on neuter

What made you want to look up neuter? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


lying above or upon

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