Definition of neither in English:

neither

Line breaks: nei|ther
Pronunciation: /ˈnʌɪðə
 
, ˈniː-/

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.

adverb

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1Used before the first of two (or occasionally more) alternatives (the others being introduced by ‘nor’) to indicate that they are each untrue or each does 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

Origin

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

Usage

1 The use of neither with another negative, as in I don’t like him neither or he’s not much good at reading neither is recorded from the 16th century onwards, but is not 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).

Phrases

neither here nor there

see here.

neither one thing nor the other

Not clearly either of two things: Sam stands on the cusp, neither one thing nor the other
More example sentences
  • Mercury is, by nature, ambivalent, difficult to see, neither one thing nor the other.
  • What has transpired of course is neither one thing nor the other.
  • Trumpeted as the next big allrounder, but at Port Elizabeth he looked neither one thing nor the other.

Definition of neither in:

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