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

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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.
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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 Adoption fees include spay/neuter and vaccinations. Joy Sewing, Houston Chronicle, "Meet Joy, Frank and 500 animals ready for adopting at Best Friends Super Adoption this weekend," 18 June 2019 Adoption fee: $25; includes spay/neuter; microchip with lifetime registration, vet exam. Linda Mcintosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, "The Pet of the Week is ‘Cottontail’," 13 Sep. 2019 His adoption fee is waived thanks to an AHS partner and includes his neuter surgery, current vaccinations, a microchip and a free follow-up wellness exam with a VCA Animal Hospital. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "A wiggly pup and more up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week," 6 Sep. 2019 Adoptions include spay/neuter, services, vaccines and microchipping. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Houston-area shelters offering free and reduced adoptions for 'Clear the Shelters' event," 14 Aug. 2019 Adoptions include microchipping, spay/neuter, vaccinations and heart worm testing. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis Animal Care is full with over 900 animals. You can adopt one for free," 4 June 2019 Programs to spay/neuter and release community cats are one factor. Alicia Parlapiano, New York Times, "Why Euthanasia Rates at Animal Shelters Have Plummeted," 3 Sep. 2019 Note: Viewer discretion advised, as the spay/neuter surgery will be shown. Hannah Drown,, "See rescuers trap cats at home of Garfield Heights woman given 10 days in jail after feeding them; watch spay/neuter on Facebook Live," 5 Aug. 2019 Along with the spay/neuter clinic, the facility will include places for cat medical rehabilitation and hospice foster care for special-needs cats. Laurel Deppen, The Courier-Journal, "Trap-neuter-return program helps Alley Cat Advocates ease Louisville's stray issue," 4 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Breast cancer, which is linked to hormones, is not common in domestic housecats because they are usually spayed or neutered, Cook said. Robin Goist,, "Akron Zoo jaguar diagnosed with cancer," 4 Sep. 2019 Tom’s officially taken Kendall’s place as the resident neutered hound dog of the family. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Succession Game of Thrones Sees an Unlikely Contender Emerge," 26 Aug. 2019 Created by Patrick Brown, the app is designed to neuter Silicon Valley’s control over its own platforms. Justin Bank, New York Times, "Big Tech, a Conservative Provocateur and the Fight Over Disinformation," 21 Aug. 2019 According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, neutering your pets helps prevent the growing number of unwanted dogs and cats. Abbagail Leon, azcentral, "Phoenix summer camp turns kids into responsible animal caregivers, leaders," 22 June 2019 There are about 700 stray dogs living near Cherynobyl, down from 1,000 in 2017 due to less reproduction from spaying and neutering. . Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, "Puppies and nuclear reactors: HBO series draws attention to stray dogs of Chernobyl," 18 June 2019 Puk’s propensity for the strikeout could neuter a late-inning power surge. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "What A.J. Puk’s arrival could mean for the Athletics’ postseason push," 19 Aug. 2019 And the best part: Pixie’s adoption fees are waived, like with all senior dogs ages 7 and up — as well as ready-to-go dogs, which are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and ready to go home the same day as a visit. Kathleen Christiansen,, "Featured Pet: Pixie from Orange County Animal Services," 9 Aug. 2019 Last year, the Kentucky Humane Society found homes for more than 6,000 animals and spayed or neutered more than 10,000 area cats and dogs at their S.N.I.P. Clinic. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "How you can party with puppies and kittens for a good cause in Louisville," 24 July 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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Time Traveler for neuter

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for neuter

Cite this Entry

“Neuter.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 November 2019.

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More Definitions for neuter


How to pronounce neuter (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for neuter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with neuter

Spanish Central: Translation of neuter

Nglish: Translation of neuter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of neuter for Arabic Speakers

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