neutral

noun
neu·​tral | \ˈnü-trəl, ˈnyü-\

Definition of neutral 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one that is neutral The two countries were neutrals while their neighbors were at war.

2 : a neutral color She painted the room in neutrals.

3 : a position of disengagement (as of gears) He put the car in neutral.

neutral

adjective

Definition of neutral (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : not engaged on either side specifically : not aligned with a political or ideological grouping a neutral nation

2 : of or relating to a neutral state or power neutral territory

3a : not decided or pronounced as to characteristics : indifferent

b(1) : achromatic

(2) : nearly achromatic

c(1) : neuter sense 3

(2) : lacking stamens or pistils

d : neither acid nor basic

e : not electrically charged

4 : produced with the tongue in the position it has when at rest the neutral vowels of \ə-ˈbəv\ above

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from neutral

Adjective

neutrally \ ˈnü-​trə-​lē , ˈnyü-​ \ adverb
neutralness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for neutral

Synonyms: Adjective

nonpartisan

Antonyms: Adjective

allied, confederate

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of neutral in a Sentence

Noun

He put the car in neutral. Their sister remained a neutral in the dispute. The two countries were neutrals while their neighbors were at war.

Adjective

He remained neutral while his brothers argued. She tries to be a fair and neutral journalist. The battle took place in neutral waters. The duel will be held on neutral ground. The report was written in neutral language. “Why did you do that?” he asked in a neutral tone of voice.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Its very first matte palette, the kit contains six neutrals that work alone or blended together. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, "Macy's Is Having a 48-Hour Spring Beauty Sale — Here's What to Shop," 20 Apr. 2018 The brand's first launch will be an eye shadow palette called Life's a Drag, which includes 14 different eye shadow shades in both neutrals and bright colors. Rosemary Donahue, Allure, "Manny MUA Launches Lunar Beauty's Life's a Drag Eye Shadow Palette," 28 May 2018 Breaking her long running love affair with play-it-safe neutrals, the newest member of the Windsor family recently took a turn at some color in a bright yellow Brandon Maxwell dress. refinery29.com, "Meghan Markle Wore A Yellow Dress, So We Wore A Yellow Dress," 5 July 2018 Meanwhile free-scoring the Argentines might well have been the neutrals team. SI.com, "World Cup Countdown: 18 Weeks to Go - Who Would've Won the 1942 Tournament?," 16 Feb. 2018 This classic color combo pairs perfectly with stark white and craft-toned nudes, so don't be afraid to infuse light neutrals. Putnam & Putnam, Harper's BAZAAR, "Introducing: The Wedding Colors For Spring," 17 Jan. 2017 Stick to black and neutrals, for easier mixing and matching — and better hiding of stains. Jada Yuan, New York Times, "How Do You Pack for a Yearlong Trip?," 27 June 2018 Not quite neutrals, like a Naked Palette, but definitely toned down from the galaxy palette. Sarah Spellings, The Cut, "Rihanna Dropped a New Fenty Beauty Palette, and It’s Spicy," 25 June 2018 Sadly, this year’s Nigeria team isn’t likely to win over any neutrals. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "World Cup 2018: A Guide to Every Team," 12 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Where chardonnay and pinot grigio are fairly neutral and predictable in flavor profile, sauvignon blanc has a dramatic stylistic range that can be quite forceful in flavor and is hard to predict from the label alone. Marnie Old, Philly.com, "Great Wine Values: Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc," 2 July 2018 The seat was held for six years by Murphy, who is staying neutral in the primary race. Neil Vigdor, courant.com, "Democrat Shannon Kula Fails To Qualify For 5th Congressional District Primary," 29 June 2018 Most Republican and Republican-leaning independents don't trust tech companies to be politically neutral and many think social media sites are intentionally censoring political views, found a survey from the Pew Research Center released survey. Ryan Suppe, USA TODAY, "Most conservatives think tech companies are politically biased, Pew Research survey finds," 28 June 2018 To pull another vehicle with a winch, put your vehicle in neutral and stand on the brakes. Wes Siler, Outside Online, "The Gear You Need to Get Your Truck Unstuck," 19 June 2018 Working the refs is most commonly used to influence media organizations’ news coverage, but the tactic is effective against any institution that values the public’s perception of them as neutral and credible civic actors. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "How Conservatives Conned James Comey," 15 June 2018 Regardless of your visibility, staying politically neutral is a smart strategy for any business. Rob Weinberg, Pomerado News, "Racism, vulgarity and bottom lines," 7 June 2018 There are buttons for the radio, pit-lane cruise control, neutral and reverse. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "IndyCar steering wheels are $40K marvels that might crash most of us," 1 June 2018 The company emphasized drivers could overpower the system by continuously applying the brakes until the vehicle stopped or the vehicle could be stopped by shifting into neutral and braking. NBC News, "Fiat Chrysler recalls 4.8 million U.S. vehicles for cruise control defect," 25 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'neutral.' 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 neutral

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for neutral

Noun

see neutral entry 2

Adjective

Middle English neuterall mutually neutralizing, from Medieval Latin *neutralis, back-formation from neutralitas middle ground, from Latin neutralis neuter, from neutr-, neuter

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about neutral

Statistics for neutral

Last Updated

9 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for neutral

The first known use of neutral was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for neutral

neutral

noun

English Language Learners Definition of neutral

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a color that is not bright or strong : a neutral color

: the position of the gears in a car, truck, etc., when they do not touch each other and power from the engine does not move the wheels

: a person, country, etc., that does not support either side of an argument, fight, war, etc.

neutral

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of neutral (Entry 2 of 2)

: not supporting either side of an argument, fight, war, etc.

: not supporting one political view over another

: not connected with either side involved in a war, contest, etc.

neutral

noun
neu·​tral | \ˈnü-trəl, ˈnyü-\

Kids Definition of neutral

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person or group that does not favor either side in a quarrel, contest, or war

2 : a grayish color or color that is not bright

3 : a position of gears (as in the transmission of a motor vehicle) in which they are not in contact

neutral

adjective

Kids Definition of neutral (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : not favoring either side in a quarrel, contest, or war

2 : of or relating to a country that doesn't favor either side in a dispute neutral territory

3 : not strong in opinion or feeling My feelings toward work are neutral.

4 : having a color that is not bright : grayish neutral walls

5 : neither acid nor basic

6 : not electrically charged

neutral

noun
neu·​tral | \ˈn(y)ü-trəl \

Medical Definition of neutral 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a neutral color

neutral

adjective

Medical Definition of neutral (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : not decided or pronounced as to characteristics

2a : totally lacking in saturation : achromatic

b : not decided in color : nearly achromatic : of low saturation

3 : neither acid nor basic : neither acid nor alkaline specifically : having a pH value of 7.0 a neutral solution contains both hydrogen ions and hydroxide ions at the same concentration 1.00×10−7 — Linus Pauling

4 : not electrically charged

Keep scrolling for more

neutral

noun
neu·​tral

Legal Definition of neutral 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: one that is neutral specifically : an impartial person used in alternative dispute resolution to help resolve or to determine the matters in dispute

neutral

adjective

Legal Definition of neutral (Entry 2 of 2)

: not engaged on either side specifically : not aligned with a political or ideological grouping

Other Words from neutral

neutrally adverb
neutralness noun

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on neutral

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a trusted follower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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