Definition of neon in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈniːɒn/


[mass noun]
1The chemical element of atomic number 10, an inert gaseous element of the noble gas group. It is obtained by the distillation of liquid air and is used in fluorescent lamps and illuminated advertising signs. (Symbol: Ne)
Example sentences
  • The noble gases helium, neon, argon, krypton, and xenon display fairly simple chemistry in material of solar composition.
  • It combines easily and even explosively with every other element except helium, neon, and argon.
  • Gas lasers use gases such as argon, carbon dioxide, neon, and nitrogen.
1.1Fluorescent lighting or signs using neon or another gas: the lobby of the hotel was bright with neon
More example sentences
  • The joint fairly jumped under the glow of fluorescent lights and neon beer signs when I stepped through the door last night.
  • As soon as that, the four went off causing havoc around the city, stealing electricity from neon signs, streetlights, power boxes, and more.
  • On your left is the approaching bulk of a station - sitting there majestically, neon signs spinning and lights streaming forth.
1.2 [count noun] A small lamp containing neon: neons indicate the state of the mains wiring
More example sentences
  • Her lab and living quarters were fully decorated with patterns, cuts, objects of art, along with several lights and neons of yellow and red colors; her two favorites.
  • A lot of drivers are unsettled by the confusing combination of in-car lights and the dazzling night-time neons on the outside.
  • New Year's Eve 2004: I skittered down to Elk Grove, Calif., on Highway 99 with rain boiling my windshield; obscuring my view save for suburban neons, crimson taillights, and scant highlights of freeway signs only legible from 10 feet away.
1.3 [as modifier] Very bright or fluorescent in colour: she had recently dyed her hair neon pink
More example sentences
  • Also at Savers, I bought a neon red trucker cap, on which I used a black texta to write ‘Does my brain look big in this?’
  • You might have noticed that there appears to be a bit of variation in the opacity and colour of the neon green perspex used throughout the case.
  • Now I have on a bright neon lime green T-shirt and I'm not a small girl, so you can't miss me.


Late 19th century: from Greek, literally 'something new', neuter of the adjective neos.

  • This gas, used in fluorescent lamps and illuminated advertising signs, was named in 1898 by its discoverers, the scientists Sir William Ramsay and M. W. Travers. Neon is simply the Greek word for ‘new thing’. The same Greek word is the source of the many English words that start with neo- and refer to a new or revived form of something, such as neoclassical (late 19th century), neocolonialism (mid 20th century), and neo-Nazi, a word that appeared in 1944 before the Nazis had even been ousted from power.

Words that rhyme with neon

Leon, Lyons, prion

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: neon

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