neuter

1 of 3

adjective

neu·​ter ˈnü-tər How to pronounce neuter (audio)
ˈnyü-
1
a
: 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

neuter

2 of 3

noun

1
a
: a noun, pronoun, adjective, or inflectional form or class of the neuter gender
b
: the neuter gender
2
: one that is neutral
3
b
: a spayed or castrated animal

neuter

3 of 3

verb

neutered; neutering; neuters

transitive verb

1
2
: to remove the force or effectiveness of

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Adoption fee: $145, including microchip registration, spay/neuter and up-to-date vaccinations and a one-year license if his new home is in the jurisdiction of San Diego Humane Society’s Department of Animal Services. Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Feb. 2024 As part of a Valentine’s Day promotion, Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center in Blackwood is offering to name a feral cat after a donor’s ex – then neuter or spay the cat in question. Zoe Sottile, CNN, 28 Jan. 2024 Other programs ease the financial burden of owning a dog or a cat, through pet food pantries and veterinary services like spay and neuter clinics. Michael Hill, Fortune, 20 Dec. 2023 Adoption fee: $100, including microchip registration, spay/neuter and up-to-date vaccinations and a one-year license if his new home is in the jurisdiction of San Diego Humane Society’s Department of Animal Services. Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Jan. 2024 The city has started a low-cost spay and neuter program to help remedy the problem, and since June last year has altered about 1,400 animals. Alene Tchekmedyian, Los Angeles Times, 3 Dec. 2023 The time to punish Trump for Jan. 6 and politically neuter him came in February 2021 when 43 Republican senators voted to acquit the scheming ex-president after his impeachment in the House. Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times, 27 Dec. 2023 In theory, saving kittens shouldn’t preclude increasing support of spay/neuter and educating communities about its importance. Jonathan Franzen, The New Yorker, 25 Dec. 2023 Adoption fee: $100, including microchip registration, spay/neuter and up-to-date vaccinations and a one-year license if her new home is in the jurisdiction of San Diego Humane Society’s Department of Animal Services. Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Dec. 2023
Noun
Community members can adopt a pet for $14, which covers the cost of intake vaccines, microchipping, rabies vaccine, one-year dog license (for Chula Vista residents) and spay or neuter. Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Feb. 2024 Francis acknowledged that there is already a shortage of veterinarians nationwide, and that more and more vets work for corporations that emphasize premium pet services, rather than low-cost spay/neuter. Jonathan Franzen, The New Yorker, 25 Dec. 2023 And there's no state laws that require spay and neuter or anything like that, but that's what saves lives is spay and neuter. Paige Eichkorn, Arkansas Online, 13 Aug. 2023 Services range from dog licensing, spay and neuter, behavior and training assistance, including a free Behavior Helpline to a community pet pantry, and lost and found. San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Feb. 2023 The $23 adoption fee includes spay/neuter, vaccines, a 2023 dog license, microchip, and a current rabies tag. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, 6 Jan. 2023 This sweet rabbit’s story is a perfect example of the importance of spay and neuter, as just a few pets can quickly become too many to care for. The Republic, The Arizona Republic, 16 June 2023 The animals were brought to shelters in El Cajon, Oceanside and San Diego where they were fed and provided medical care, including treatment of upper respiratory infections and dental care, as well as spay/neuter surgeries and vaccines, said San Diego Humane Society spokesperson Nina Thompson. Karen Kucher, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 June 2023 But his suspension of regular arms control talks between Washington and Moscow that are held under the treaty neuters the most important bilateral forum to ensure nuclear arms stability and predictability and to avoid the risk of a misunderstanding that could spark a catastrophic war. Robyn Dixon, Washington Post, 21 Feb. 2023
Verb
Several cities and counties in California, including San Bernardino County, have passed ordinances that don’t allow residents to own or keep pit bulls that haven’t been spayed or neutered, with limited exceptions. Karen Garcia, Los Angeles Times, 16 Feb. 2024 For $25, the Feline Rescue Association in Owings Mills, Md., will name a feral cat after your ex and neuter it on Valentine’s Day. Petula Dvorak, Washington Post, 12 Feb. 2024 Particularly close to my heart was the ability our vast popularity gave me to remind our entire audience daily about the importance of spaying and neutering your pets. Lynette Rice, EW.com, 26 Aug. 2023 Feral cats are trapped, neutered and then returned to their colony – and can no longer sire new kittens. Christine Rousselle, Fox News, 1 Feb. 2024 After the feral cats taking part in the event have been named and then spayed or neutered, they will be released back to the feral feline colony, where they were found as part of Homeward Bound's trap-neuter-return (TNR) program. Kimberlee Speakman, Peoplemag, 30 Jan. 2024 The measure targeted animal rights activists who for years decried lack of any legal accountability for people who mistreated or abandoned their pets, or failed to chip or neuter them. Mary Ilyushina, Washington Post, 20 Jan. 2024 All cats will be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and medically cleared before they can be taken home. Jeremy Childs, Los Angeles Times, 13 Jan. 2024 In an attempt to neuter the courts, Forsythe hobbles the other branches as well. Christian Schneider, National Review, 21 Dec. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'neuter.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

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

First Known Use

Adjective

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

Noun

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

Verb

1903, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near neuter

Cite this Entry

“Neuter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/neuter. Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

neuter

1 of 3 adjective
neu·​ter ˈn(y)üt-ər How to pronounce neuter (audio)
1
: relating to or being the class of words that ordinarily includes most of those referring to things that are neither male nor female
a neuter noun
the neuter gender
2
: lacking sex organs
also : having imperfectly developed sex organs

neuter

2 of 3 noun
1
a
: a word or form of the neuter gender
b
: the neuter gender
2

neuter

3 of 3 verb

Medical Definition

neuter

1 of 2 noun
neu·​ter ˈn(y)üt-ər How to pronounce neuter (audio)
: a spayed or castrated animal (as a cat)

neuter

2 of 2 transitive verb
: to castrate or spay (an animal) : alter

More from Merriam-Webster on neuter

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