Definition of neophyte in English:


Line breaks: neo|phyte
Pronunciation: /ˈniːə(ʊ)fʌɪt


  • 1A person who is new to a subject or activity: four-day cooking classes are offered to neophytes and experts [as modifier]: a cast of neophyte actors
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    • 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, new member, new entrant, new recruit, raw recruit, new boy/girl, initiate, tyro, fledgling; trainee, apprentice, probationer
    informal rookie, new kid, newbie, newie
    North American informal tenderfoot, greenhorn, punk
  • 2A new convert to a religion.
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    • The ‘little ones’ are believers, neophytes in the faith.
  • 2.1A novice in a religious order, or a newly ordained priest.
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    • 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.


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'.

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Pronunciation: skōSH
a small amount; a little