[ nee-ol-uh-jiz-uh m ]
/ niˈɒl əˌdʒɪz əm /


a new word, meaning, usage, or phrase.
the introduction or use of new words or new senses of existing words.
a new doctrine, especially a new interpretation of sacred writings.
Psychiatry. a new word, often consisting of a combination of other words, that is understood only by the speaker: occurring most often in the speech of schizophrenics.

Nearby words

  1. neolith,
  2. neolithic,
  3. neolocal,
  4. neological,
  5. neologically,
  6. neologize,
  7. neology,
  8. neolyte,
  9. neomembrane,
  10. neomercantilism

Origin of neologism

From the French word néologisme, dating back to 1790–1800. See neology, -ism

Related formsne·ol·o·gist, nounne·ol·o·gis·tic, ne·ol·o·gis·ti·cal, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for neologism

British Dictionary definitions for neologism



/ (nɪˈɒləˌdʒɪzəm) /

noun plural -gisms or -gies

a newly coined word, or a phrase or familiar word used in a new sense
the practice of using or introducing neologisms
rare a tendency towards adopting new views, esp rationalist views, in matters of religion
Derived Formsneologist, nounneologistic, neologistical or neological (ˌnɪəˈlɒdʒɪkəl), adjectiveneologistically or neologically, adverb

Word Origin for neologism

C18: via French from neo- + -logism, from Greek logos word, saying

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for neologism



"practice of innovation in language," 1776, from French néologisme, from neo- (see neo-) + Greek logos "word" (see lecture (n.)). Meaning "new word or expression" is from 1803. Neological is attested from 1754.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for neologism


[ nē-ŏlə-jĭz′əm ]


A meaningless word used by a psychotic.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.