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

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

The Street Team includes someone to trap, neuter and release stray cats, and there are times when conditions warrant that the cat be brought back to Corridor Rescue’s shelter. Julie Cornell, Houston Chronicle, "Rescue groups help with stray pet population in northwest Harris County," 2 May 2018 Last year, the council authorized funding for a dedicated ACS officer in each council district, such as Officer Robert Lopez in District 4, and a new spay/neuter clinic was opened at Brooks City Base. Vincent T. Davis, San Antonio Express-News, "Education, more tickets help ACS make headway on San Antonio’s roaming dog problem," 7 Jan. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In 2016, North Carolina Republicans tried to defend a gerrymander that neutered the state’s black vote by arguing that it wasn’t targeted along racial lines, but rather partisan ones. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The 9 thinkers who made sense of 2018’s chaos," 27 Dec. 2018 Their international neutering programs in Afghanistan, Georgia, Russia, and India have neutered over 12,000 cats and dogs so far. Omid Scobie, Harper's BAZAAR, "Duchess Meghan Falls in Love with Rescue Dogs at First Mayhew Engagement as Patron," 16 Jan. 2019 Cattle that arrive as bulls—as Frank Lee did—are neutered, preparing them for a relaxing life absent police chases. Zolan Kanno-youngs, WSJ, "Escape From New York: Slaughterhouse Refugees Have a Country Place," 1 Oct. 2018 Specifically, Omaui councilmembers want owners to neuter, register, and microchip their animals. Angela Chen, The Verge, "New Zealand town suggests banning cats to save native birds," 31 Aug. 2018 He is neutered, up to date on all shots, micro chipped and licensed with Maricopa County Animal Care and Control. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "Adopt a dog or cat from metro Phoenix shelters this week," 5 July 2018 The puppy, named Chops, was neutered there and got its vaccinations. Joe Robertson And Robert A. Cronkleton, kansascity, "Jeremiah and Demonte, 'just kids,' mourned as victims of gun violence," 27 June 2018 Residents who participate in programs for people with low incomes, including PG&E and SMUD utility assistance, can get their licenses for free if their pet is spayed or neutered. Cynthia Hubert, sacbee, "Is Sacramento's crackdown on pet licensing working? | The Sacramento Bee," 30 Mar. 2018 Democrats helped create the agency in 2010 and argue that GOP leadership is trying to neuter it. WSJ, "New House Committee Chiefs Take Their Chairs," 4 Jan. 2019

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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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)
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with neuter

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for neuter

Spanish Central: Translation of neuter

Nglish: Translation of neuter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of neuter for Arabic Speakers

Comments on neuter

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