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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for neuter

Synonyms: Verb

alter, desex, fix

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

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

Mendo passed all health tests and was neutered before two volunteers took the dog to Reno, Nev., to start his new life. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Utah firefighter adopts German Shepherd he rescued during California wildfires," 27 Aug. 2018 The proposal details plans to spay and/or neuter current cats while prohibiting new ones, Environment Southland biosecurity operations manager Ali Meade told the Daily Times. Elizabeth Zwirz, Fox News, "Domestic cats reportedly facing potential ban in New Zealand town," 30 Aug. 2018 But the transition is far from perfect: Because the bears would not be able to look after cubs, they are neutered. Peter Pomerantsev, New York Times, "What Trained Bears Can Teach Us About Formerly Authoritarian Countries," 3 May 2018 The facility also has an ultramodern clinic where spaying and neutering operations will be performed, along with a grooming room where animals can be bathed and groomed. Lou Ponsi,, "OC Animal Care's new $35 million facility celebrates its grand opening," 29 Mar. 2018 The basic adoption rate is normally $75, according to the website which includes spaying or neutering the dog, vaccinations and an identifying microchip. Mary Carole Mccauley,, "BARCS waives adoption fees for dogs on Opening Day in Baltimore," 29 Mar. 2018 The licensing fee for cats is $10, or $5 if neutered, according to the mayor’s office. Gregory Tejeda, Post-Tribune, "Gary mayor eyes improved fee collection to help city's finances," 11 July 2018 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about neuter

Dictionary Entries near neuter







neutral axis

Statistics for neuter

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for neuter

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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


a nest or breeding place

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!