Definition of neuter in English:

neuter

Syllabification: neu·ter
Pronunciation: /ˈn(y)o͞odər
 
/

adjective

1Of or denoting a gender of nouns in some languages, typically contrasting with masculine and feminine or common: it is a neuter word in Greek
More example sentences
  • Still, the grammatical rule, Macgregor points out, is that the adjective, when qualifying two nouns of different genders, agrees with the masculine or feminine noun rather than with the neuter noun, irrespective of position.
  • The vast majority of nouns are masculine or feminine, though there are a few neuter nouns.
  • I decided that it was time to catch up with the rest of the world, and most other news organisations refer to ships as neuter.
2(Of an animal) lacking developed sexual organs, or having had them removed.
More example sentences
  • Keynes has found a list of the pros and cons of marriage written by Darwin when he was 29: ‘My God, it is intolerable to think of spending one's whole life, like a neuter bee, working, working, and nothing after all.’
  • My dog is neuter.
2.1(Of a plant or flower) having neither functional pistils nor functional stamens.
More example sentences
  • This neuter plant, Humulus lupulus, produced no flowers for two years.
  • Neuter flowers contained an average of 7.6 gl of nectar, and none were empty.
2.2(Of a person) apparently having no sexual characteristics; asexual.
More example sentences
  • ‘Sure,’ he said convinced that he was a jerk, a neuter slave reaching for her shoes.
  • Terentzala was the neuter God and ever unfulfilled because he would never have a mate.
  • No allowance is made in the Writ for sexual orientations, because Angels are in truth, neuter.
Synonyms
asexual, sexless, unsexed; androgynous, epicene

noun

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1 Grammar A neuter word.
More example sentences
  • That would account for someone deciding that the plural ending was i, not realizing that this was true only of masculine nouns, not neuters.
  • English also has some Latin neuter singulars, ending in um, with a plural ending in A - bacterium is an example, the plural is bacteria; nobody says bacteriums.
  • The feminine pronoun she was often used for the United States as well, but he says that ‘of late years we have gradually drifted into the custom of adopting the neuter it, which makes necessary the use of the singular verb.’
1.1 (the neuter) The neuter gender.
More example sentences
  • An epiphany of the Loved, the feminine is not added to an object and a Thou antecedently given or encountered in the neuter (the sole gender formal logic knows.)
  • Other European languages have two or three so-called ‘genders', masculine, feminine, and neuter.
  • When used in the neuter - ìî, òî - it can mean ‘something or anything of mine/yours.’
2A nonfertile caste of social insect, especially a worker bee or ant.
More example sentences
  • It appears to us quite as rational and philosophical to suppose, that a queen bee could be converted into a neuter.
  • The worker ant, although in common parlance a "neuter," is structurally a female.
  • The worker ant, although in common parlance a "neuter," is structurally a female.
2.1A castrated or spayed domestic animal.
More example sentences
  • if you cat is a neuter you can only enter neuter classes.
  • My other cats are all neuters.
2.2A person who appears to lack sexual characteristics.
More example sentences
  • On the other hand, Raven's blatant foregrounding of sex in Phineas Finn reminds us that Trollope's young heroes are neither neuters nor angels in their ‘private’, un-narrated lives.
  • I'd also like to report, on a lighter note, that this song racily mentions ‘making love’ at a time when the Boys were still supposedly buzz-cut neuters without a prurient interest in their hearts.
  • It could be like ‘West Side Story,’ with the sex addicts versus the neuters.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
1Castrate or spay (a domestic animal): (as adjective neutered) a neutered tomcat
More example sentences
  • Spayed or neutered cats are often more friendly with their owners than they would usually be.
  • The only way to remove an unwanted recessive like long hair from a breeding program is to spay or neuter all kittens who inherit that trait and all cats who produce it.
  • The other compelling reason to spay or neuter your pet is the very real fact that there are not enough loving homes available to adopt all the needy pets.
Synonyms
1.1Render ineffective; deprive of vigor or force: disarmament negotiations that will neuter their military power
More example sentences
  • Under your watch, the electoral system is being neutered and rendered ineffective.
  • He believes that neutering the detective powers of the police service has been one of the key political objectives of Sinn Fein.
  • Let's not forget that it was Labor who allowed Ahern out of question time because of one of their side deals that effectively neutered certain opposition powers.

Origin

late Middle English: via Old French from Latin neuter 'neither', from ne- 'not' + uter 'either'.

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