Chemistry. a chemically inert gaseous element occurring in small amounts in the earth's atmosphere, used chiefly in a type of electrical lamp. Symbol: Ne; atomic weight: 20.183; atomic number: 10; density: 0.9002 g/l at 0°C and 760 mm pressure.
a sign or advertising sign formed from neon lamps.


using or containing the gas neon.
made of or formed by a neon lamp or lamps: a neon sign.
of, relating to, or characteristic of a tawdry urban district or of gaudy nighttime entertainment.

Origin of neon

1895–1900; < New Latin < Greek néon new, recent (neuter of néos); see -on1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for neon

Contemporary Examples of neon

Historical Examples of neon

  • Neon however, less scrupulous, led out a body of 2000 men who chose to follow him, under severe distress for want of provisions.

  • Danny Duke could stand the glare of a neon light, Sally found as she looked at his strong, friendly face.

  • I ought to be nearwhy, theres your neon light and the beacon over the hangar.

    The Flying Reporter

    Lewis E. (Lewis Edwin) Theiss

  • The boys drove to Fremont Street, past the incredible gambling halls with their elaborate signs and miles of neon tubing.

    The Scarlet Lake Mystery

    Harold Leland Goodwin

  • Neon tubing brightened every store front, busy proprietors could be seen at work through the large plate glass windows.

    Voyage To Eternity

    Milton Lesser

British Dictionary definitions for neon



a colourless odourless rare gaseous element, an inert gas occurring in trace amounts in the atmosphere: used in illuminated signs and lights. Symbol: Ne; atomic no: 10; atomic wt: 20.1797; valency: 0; density: 0.899 90 kg/m³; melting pt: –248.59°C; boiling pt: –246.08°C
(modifier) of or illuminated by neon or neon lampsneon sign

Word Origin for neon

C19: via New Latin from Greek neon new
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 neon

1898, coined by its discoverers, Sir William Ramsay and Morris W. Travers, from Greek neon, neuter of neos "new" (see new); so called because it was newly discovered. Neon sign is attested from 1927.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for neon



n. Symbol Ne

A rare inert colorless gaseous element that occurs in air and glows reddish orange in an electric discharge. Atomic number 10.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for neon




A rare colorless element in the noble gas group that occurs naturally in extremely small amounts in the atmosphere. It glows reddish orange when electricity passes through it, as in a tube in an electric neon light. Neon is also used for refrigeration. Atomic number 10; atomic weight 20.180; melting point -248.67°C; boiling point -245.95°C. See Periodic Table.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.