nei·ther (nēthər, nī-)
Not one or the other; not either: Neither shoe feels comfortable.
Not either one; not the one or the other: Neither of the twins is here. Neither will do. Neither of them is incorrect.
1. Not either; not in either case. Used with the correlative conjunction nor: Neither we nor they want it. She neither called nor wrote. I got neither the gift nor the card.
2. Also not: If he won't go, neither will she.
Similarly not; also not: Just as you would not, so neither would they.
[Middle English, from Old English nāwther, nāhwæther (influenced by æghwæther, ægther, either) : nā, not; see ne in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + hwæther, which of two; see kwo- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Usage Note: According to the traditional rule, neither is used only to mean "not one or the other of two." To refer to "none of several," none is preferred: None (not neither) of the three opposition candidates would make a better president than the incumbent. · The traditional rule also holds that neither is grammatically singular: Neither candidate is having an easy time with the press. However, it is often used with a plural verb, especially when followed by of and a plural: Neither of the candidates are really expressing their own views. · As a conjunction neither is properly followed by nor, not or, in formal style: Neither prayers nor curses (not or curses) did any good. See Usage Notes at either, every, he1, none, nor1, or1.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.