[ noo-truhl, nyoo- ]
See synonyms for: neutralneutralsneutrally on

  1. not taking part or giving assistance in a dispute or war between others: Sweden was a neutral nation during World War II.

  2. not aligned with or supporting any side or position in a controversy: The arbitrator was absolutely neutral.

  1. of or belonging to a state or party that is not taking part or giving assistance in a dispute: Troops cannot be recruited from neutral territory.

  2. of no particular kind, characteristics, etc.; indefinite (sometimes used in combination): She had a neutral personality that made no impression whatever.The awards show has announced a new gender-neutral acting category alongside its longstanding Best Actress and Best Actor ones.

  3. (of a color or shade)

    • gray; without hue; of zero chroma; achromatic.

    • matching well with many or most other colors or shades, as white or beige.

  4. Botany, Zoology. neuter.

  5. not causing or reflecting a change in something: It is believed that the new tax law will be revenue neutral.

  6. Chemistry. exhibiting neither acid nor alkaline qualities: neutral salts.

  7. Physics.

    • (of a particle) having no charge.

    • (of an atom, molecule, collection of particles, fluid, or solid) having no net charge; electroneutral; not electrified.

    • not magnetized.

  8. Phonetics. (of a vowel) pronounced with the tongue relaxed in a central position, as the a in alive; reduced.

  1. a person or a nation that remains unaligned with any side, as in a controversy or war.

  2. a citizen of a nation that does not join or support any side during a war.

  1. Machinery, Automotive. the position or state of disengaged gears or other interconnecting parts: in neutral.

  2. a neutral color.

Origin of neutral

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English, from Latin neutrālis “grammatically neuter,” from neutr- (stem of neuter neuter) + -ālis -al1

Other words for neutral

Other words from neutral

  • neu·tral·ly, adverb
  • an·ti·neu·tral, adjective, noun
  • an·ti·neu·tral·ly, adverb
  • non·neu·tral, adjective, noun
  • non·neu·tral·ly, adverb
  • quasi-neutral, adjective
  • qua·si-neu·tral·ly, adverb
  • sem·i·neu·tral, adjective
  • un·neu·tral, adjective
  • un·neu·tral·ly, adverb

Words Nearby neutral Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use neutral in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for neutral


/ (ˈnjuːtrəl) /

  1. not siding with any party to a war or dispute

  2. of, belonging to, or appropriate to a neutral party, country, etc: neutral land

  1. of no distinctive quality, characteristics, or type; indifferent

  2. (of a colour such as white or black) having no hue; achromatic

  3. (of a colour) dull, but harmonizing with most other colours

  4. a less common term for neuter (def. 2)

  5. chem neither acidic nor alkaline

  6. physics having zero charge or potential

  7. rare having no magnetism

  8. phonetics (of a vowel) articulated with the tongue relaxed in mid-central position and the lips midway between spread and rounded: the word ``about'' begins with a neutral vowel

  1. a neutral person, nation, etc

  2. a citizen of a neutral state

  1. the position of the controls of a gearbox that leaves the transmission disengaged

Origin of neutral

C16: from Latin neutrālis; see neuter

Derived forms of neutral

  • neutrally, adverb

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

Scientific definitions for neutral


[ nōōtrəl ]

  1. Neither acid nor alkaline.

  2. Having no inherent or net charge, especially electric charge.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.