[ nee-uh-fahyt ]
/ ˈni əˌfaɪt /


a beginner or novice: He's a neophyte at chess.
Roman Catholic Church. a novice.
a person newly converted to a belief, as a heathen, heretic, or nonbeliever; proselyte.
Primitive Church. a person newly baptized.

Origin of neophyte

1540–50; < Late Latin neophytus newly planted < Greek neóphytos. See neo-, -phyte

Related forms

ne·o·phyt·ic [nee-uh-fit-ik] /ˌni əˈfɪt ɪk/, ne·o·phyt·ish [nee-uh-fahy-tish] /ˈni əˌfaɪ tɪʃ/, adjectivene·o·phyt·ism [nee-uh-fahy-tiz-uhm] /ˈni ə faɪˌtɪz əm/, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for neophyte

British Dictionary definitions for neophyte


/ (ˈniːəʊˌfaɪt) /


a person newly converted to a religious faith
RC Church a novice in a religious order
a novice or beginner

Derived Forms

neophytic (ˌniːəʊˈfɪtɪk), adjective

Word Origin for neophyte

C16: via Church Latin from New Testament Greek neophutos recently planted, from neos new + phuton a plant
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