Definition of neophyte in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈnēəˌfīt/


1A person who is new to a subject, skill, or belief: four-day cooking classes are offered to neophytes and experts
More example sentences
  • A neophyte researcher in the subject would be helped to get literature, but I am sure that such a tender plant would soon suffer multiple-stresses associated with uncontrolled information overload lacking structure.
  • The neophyte actor, now 19, was plucked from a Scottish classroom some two years ago and cast in Sweet Sixteen, the stormy movie about a troubled young lad and his dealings with the mob.
  • Porteous says her cast of 13 neophyte and four professional actors have ‘really embraced’ the updated context.
beginner, learner, novice, newcomer;
initiate, tyro, fledgling;
trainee, apprentice, probationer, tenderfoot
informal rookie, newbie, greenhorn
1.1A new convert to a religion.
Example sentences
  • The ‘little ones’ are believers, neophytes in the faith.
1.2A novice in a religious order, or a newly ordained priest.
Example sentences
  • Back in 1962, Hunthausen went off a neophyte to Rome having barely had time to read the voluminous documents written in Latin for the bishops' deliberations.
  • The tendency to start forming another church ‘is one of the primary sins that besets radical Christian neophytes.’
  • These young men are not merely neophytes of the church with special responsibility for leading chants at services, but are viewed as quasi-magicians in their own right.
novice, novitiate;
postulant, catechumen


Late Middle English: via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek neophutos, literally 'newly planted' but first used in the sense 'new convert' by St. Paul (1 Tim. 3:6), from neos 'new' + phuton 'plant'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ne·o·phyte

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