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

Synonyms for neuter

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 The Humane Society of Utah will spay or neuter dogs for $125 and cats for $90 at its clinics in Murray and St. George. Kolbie Peterson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 24 Nov. 2021 Without the Congressional Review Act, Democrats have a few options to neuter Trump-era rules. Sasha Hupka, Los Angeles Times, 24 June 2021 His weather segments always ended with a reminder for people watching at home to spay or neuter their pets. cleveland, 4 Aug. 2020 The legendary weatherman, who passed away Tuesday at the age of 89, spent 55 years at WJW Channel 8, letting viewers know to expect sunshine, rain or snow -- sometimes all three in one day -- and reminding them to spay or neuter their pets. cleveland, 4 Aug. 2020 Spay/neuter laws Mandatory spay/neuter laws are aimed to prevent animal overpopulation, and are often enacted at the local level. Ivana Hrynkiw,, 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, 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, 14 Feb. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Due to evictions and housing limitations, a lack of spay/neuter services, personnel shortages, and financial difficulties brought on by inflation, shelters around the country are seeing unprecedented lengths of stay and slow adoptions for pets. Layla Mcmurtrie, Detroit Free Press, 4 Aug. 2022 The first was pushing for spay-neuter laws to shrink the number of homeless dogs. Paul Solotaroff, Rolling Stone, 4 July 2022 Most importantly, MuttNation is about educating people about shelter pets and spay/neuter. Gary Graff, cleveland, 1 June 2022 The pandemic slowed preventative veterinary services such as spay/neuter, impacting the nation's overpopulation crisis. Layla Mcmurtrie, Detroit Free Press, 25 May 2022 Population management programs often utilize trap-neuter-return, or TNR – a process in which cats are trapped, spayed or neutered and re-released where they were caught. Daniel Herrera, The Conversation, 8 Apr. 2022 Adoptions include spay/neuter, vaccines, 2022 dog license, microchip, and a current rabies tag. Kaitlin Durbin, cleveland, 19 May 2022 This is much more common with pet owners who do not spay or neuter all of their pets and have accidental litters that can quickly become out of control; a significant reminder of the importance of fixing your pets. The Arizona Republic, 29 Apr. 2022 As of late Tuesday afternoon, the still-arriving donations could have funded 64 pets’ spay and neuter procedures, 259 life-saving essential vaccines, or 649 pets’ worth of food in foster care, according to the organization’s funding structure. Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, 12 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Multiple sources with knowledge of the negotiations told National Review that Intel and Qualcomm in particular have vocally sought to neuter the investment-review proposal. Jimmy Quinn, National Review, 8 July 2022 The vexatious or excessive carve-out would therefore have the potential to neuter the DSAR regime, eroding it to a state of almost total impotence. Stewart Room, Forbes, 26 June 2022 Caving on direct pay, though, could neuter the policy that Democrats are hoping will be their best and biggest offering to midterm voters. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, 22 June 2022 To ensure the prolonged health of your cats, limit their outdoor time, neuter them at the right age, and have regular check-ups with their veterinarians. Jacob Livesay, USA TODAY, 15 June 2022 The move came only after state lawmakers passed laws to neuter the NCAA's power, and with Congress unwilling to provide federal protection, the NCAA has been unable to regulate NIL activity with uniform rules — leading to fresh criticism. CBS News, 26 Apr. 2022 Of note, those who were concerned that releasing it in just ten theaters on the first weekend was going to neuter its performance were quite wrong. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, 22 Apr. 2022 The net proceeds of the cost are distributed to the Alabama Veterinary Medical Foundation to be used to help low-income residents of Alabama spay and neuter their dogs and cats. Leada Gore |, al, 8 Feb. 2022 Many, if not most, dog owners in the United States never confront the question of whether to spay or neuter their pets. Washington Post, 21 Aug. 2020 See More

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.

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

Learn More About neuter

Time Traveler for neuter

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near neuter




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for neuter

Cite this Entry

“Neuter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for neuter


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)


transitive verb

Medical Definition of neuter (Entry 2 of 2)

: castrate sense 1, alter a neutered cat

More from Merriam-Webster on neuter

Nglish: Translation of neuter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of neuter for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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