- not either, as of persons or things specified (usually followed by nor): Neither John nor Betty is at home.
- nor; nor yet; no more: Bob can't go, and neither can I. If she doesn't want it, neither do I.
- not either; not the one or the other: Neither statement is true.
- not either; not one person or the other; not one thing or the other: Neither of the suggestions will do. Neither is to be trusted.
Origin of neither
As a correlative conjunction, neither is almost always followed by nor, not or: Neither the liberals nor the conservatives had originally supported the winner. Subjects connected by neither … nor take singular verbs and pronouns when both subjects are singular ( Neither Diane nor Nicole has her own apartment ), plural when both are plural: Neither the Yankees nor the Dodgers got much help from their bull pens that year. Usage guides commonly say that when a singular and a plural subject are joined by these correlative conjunctions, the noun or pronoun nearer the verb should determine the number of the verb: Neither the mayor nor the council members have yielded on the issue. Neither the council members nor the mayor has yielded on the issue. Practice in this matter varies, however, and often the presence of one plural, no matter what its position, results in a plural verb.
In edited writing the construction following neither is parallel to the one following nor : The great days of American political oratory are neither dead nor waning (not neither are dead nor waning ). This sale sacrifices neither quality nor availability (not This sale neither sacrifices quality nor availability ).
Although some usage guides say that neither may introduce a series of no more than two, it often is used to introduce a series of three or more: The head of that department is neither skillful nor well-prepared nor honest. See also either.
Examples from the Web for neither
But the enemy of the new emirs is neither the Jew nor the Christian, it is the godless militant defending secularism.Houellebecq’s Incendiary Novel Imagines France With a Muslim President
January 9, 2015
Despite the strong language, however, the neither the JPO nor Lockheed could dispute a single fact in either Daily Beast report.Pentagon Misfires in Stealth Jet Scandal
January 8, 2015
Neither the Republican nor the Democratic party have done anything to consistently target Asian- American voters.Asian-Americans Are The New Florida
January 8, 2015
Hmm, who are these people standing in front of the machines at the gym, neither occupying them nor not occupying them?How to Survive the New Year ‘Gympocalypse’
January 6, 2015
JSwipe is neither the first nor the most recent Jewish dating app.My Week on Jewish Tinder
January 5, 2015
Without knowing why, they understood perfectly now that neither had been ingenuous.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
“Moors be not all black, neither be they all worshippers of Mahound,” replied Ambrose.The Armourer's Prentices
Charlotte M. Yonge
That, however, is neither here nor there: but it got within two blocks of there at 11.25.
Not expecting to be absent more than a few days, we had neither rations nor rugs.Explorations in Australia
The Constitution is neither a legislative crazy-quilt nor a receptacle of fads.'Tis Sixty Years Since
Charles Francis Adams
- not one nor the other (of two); not eitherneither foot is swollen
- (as pronoun)neither can win
- (used preceding alternatives joined by nor)notneither John nor Mary nor Joe went
- another word for nor (def. 2)
- (sentence modifier) not standard another word for either (def. 4)
Word Origin and History for neither
Old English nawþer, contraction of nahwæþer, literally "not of two," from na "no" (see no) + hwæþer "which of two" (see whether). Spelling altered c.1200 by association with either. Paired with nor from c.1300; earlier with ne. Also used in Old English as a pronoun. As an adjective, mid-14c.