1 of 2


ˈnü How to pronounce new (audio)
chiefly British
ˈnyü How to pronounce new (audio)
 in place names usually  (ˌ)nu̇,
 or  ,
 or  (ˌ)ni
: having recently come into existence : recent, modern
I saw their new baby for the first time.
: having been seen, used, or known for a short time : novel
rice was a new crop for the area
: unfamiliar
visit new places
: being other than the former or old
a steady flow of new money
He bought a new car.
: having been in a relationship or condition but a short time
new to the job
a new wife
: beginning as the resumption or repetition of a previous act or thing
a new day
the new edition
: made or become fresh
awoke a new person
: relating to or being a new moon
: different from one of the same category that has existed previously
new realism
: of dissimilar origin and usually of superior quality
a new strain of hybrid corn
capitalized : modern sense 3
especially : having been in use after medieval times
New Greek
ˈnü-ish How to pronounce new (audio)
newness noun


2 of 2


: newly, recently
usually used in combination
Choose the Right Synonym for new

new, novel, original, fresh mean having recently come into existence or use.

new may apply to what is freshly made and unused

new brick

or has not been known before

new designs

or not experienced before.

starts the new job

novel applies to what is not only new but strange or unprecedented.

a novel approach to the problem

original applies to what is the first of its kind to exist.

a man without one original idea

fresh applies to what has not lost its qualities of newness such as liveliness, energy, brightness.

a fresh start

Example Sentences

Adjective They visited the new library. I saw their new baby for the first time. They planted new trees on the campus. a new kind of music She couldn't afford a new car, so she bought a used one. He bought the car new. She is eager to see his new apartment. This is my new stepsister. the young man and his new wife I made a new friend today. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
The county Registrar of Voters estimated that a special election to fill the vacancy would cost $350,000 to $600,000, but could go even higher due to new state election rules, said a city staff report. Joe Tash, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Jan. 2023 When DeSantis began pushing new rules on how race is taught, Dunn decided to take his tour statewide and to focus on students. Lori Rozsa, Washington Post, 21 Jan. 2023 This is the web version of The Modern Board, a newsletter focusing on mastering the new rules of corporate leadership. Lila Maclellan, Fortune, 20 Jan. 2023 Any attempt to designate a building a historic landmark by someone other than the owner must receive preauthorization from the Naperville City Council before the review process can begin, new rules approved by the council this week say. Suzanne Baker, Chicago Tribune, 20 Jan. 2023 Tyler Posey received some support from Sarah Michelle Gellar at the premiere of his new Paramount+ movie on Wednesday in L.A. Kirsten Chuba, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 Jan. 2023 The European Union's digital policy chief warned TikTok's boss Thursday that the social media app will have to fall in line with tough new rules for online platforms set to take effect later this year. Kelvin Chan, ajc, 19 Jan. 2023 Workers would have to work longer before receiving a pension under the new rules — with the nominal retirement age rising from 62 to 64. Sylvie Corbet,, 19 Jan. 2023 French workers would have to work longer before receiving a pension under the new rules – with the nominal retirement age rising from 62 to 64. Sylvie Corbet And Jade Le Deley, The Christian Science Monitor, 19 Jan. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'new.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History



Middle English newe, new, nywe, going back to Old English nīowe, nīewe, nēowe, going back to Germanic *neuja- (whence Old Saxon & Old High German niuwi "new," Middle Dutch nieuwe, nûwe, Old Norse nýr, Gothic niujis), going back to Indo-European *neu̯i̯o-, derivative of *neu̯o- "new, young," whence Latin novus "new" (from *newos), Greek néos "young, fresh, new," Tocharian A ñu "new," Tocharian B ñuwe, Sanskrit návaḥ "new, fresh, young," Avestan nauua-, Hittite nēwa- "new"; also, going back to presumed ablaut variant, *nou̯o- (whence Old Church Slavic novŭ "new, recent") and *nou̯i̯o- (whence Old Irish náue, nuae "new, fresh," Welsh newydd, Lithuanian naũjas "new," Sanskrit návyaḥ "new, young"); also, going back to a derivative *neu̯ǝro- (parallel to Greek nearós "youthful, tender"), Armenian nor "new"

Note: A widely attested Indo-European adjective, apparently extant in all major branches except Albanian. Indo-European *neu̯o-, etc., may be based on *nu, *nuH "now" (see now entry 1).


Middle English newe, going back to Old English nīwe, derivative of nīowe, nīewe new entry 1

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of new was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near new

Cite this Entry

“New.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adjective
: not old : recent, modern
new ways of thinking
: not the same as the former : taking the place of one that came before
a new teacher
: recently discovered or learned about
new lands
new plants and animals
: not known or experienced before
new feelings
: not accustomed
new to this work
: beginning as a repeating of some previous act or thing
the new year
: refreshed in spirits or vigor
felt like a new person after my vacation
: being in a position or place for the first time
a new member
newness noun


2 of 2 adverb
: just recently
new-mown hay

Geographical Definition


geographical name

ˈnü How to pronounce New (audio)
river flowing 320 miles (515 kilometers) from northwestern North Carolina north across Virginia into West Virginia, where it joins the Gauley River to form the Kanawha River

More from Merriam-Webster on new

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