Share this entry

neither Syllabification: nei·ther
Pronunciation: /ˈnēT͟Hər/

Definition of neither in English:

determiner& pronoun

Not the one nor the other of two people or things; not either: [as determiner]: neither side of the brain is dominant over the other [as pronoun]: neither of us believes it
More example sentences
  • I suppose it's because neither of the Scottish sides have made the breakthrough yet.
  • Great effort from the edge of the box - neither of these two sides is prepared to settle for a draw.
  • The marriage was finally approved, but the bride was married with neither of her parents at her side.


Back to top  
1Used before the first of two (or occasionally more) alternatives that are being specified (the others being introduced by “nor”) to indicate that they are each untrue or each do not happen: I am neither a liberal nor a conservative
2Used to introduce a further negative statement: he didn’t remember, and neither did I


Middle English: alteration (by association with either) of Old English nawther, contraction of nāhwæther (from 'no' + hwæther 'whether').


1 The use of neither with another negative, as in I don’t like him neither or not much good at reading neither is recorded from the 16th century onward, but is not thought to be good English. This is because it is an example of a double negative, which, though standard in some other languages such as Spanish and found in many dialects of English, is not acceptable in standard English. In the sentences above, either should be used instead. For more information, see double negative (usage). 2 When neither is followed by nor, it is important in good English style that the two halves of the structure mirror each other: she saw herself as neither wife nor mother rather than she neither saw herself as wife nor mother. For more details, see either (usage).


neither here nor there

see here.

Words that rhyme with neither


Definition of neither in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day doofus
Pronunciation: ˈduːfʌs
a stupid person