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neu·tral (ntrəl, ny-)
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adj.
1. Not aligned with, supporting, or favoring either side in a war, dispute, or contest.
2. Belonging to neither side in a controversy: on neutral ground.
3. Belonging to neither kind; not one thing or the other.
4. Sexless; neuter.
5. Chemistry
a. Of or relating to a solution or compound that is neither acidic nor alkaline.
b. Of or relating to a compound that does not ionize in solution.
6. Physics
a. Of or relating to a particle, an object, or a system that has neither positive nor negative electric charge.
b. Of or relating to a particle, object, or system that has a net electric charge of zero.
7. Of or indicating a color, such as gray, black, or white, that lacks hue; achromatic.
8. Linguistics Pronounced with the tongue in a middle position, neither high nor low, as the a in around.
n.
1.
a. A nation nonaligned with either side in a war.
b. A citizen of such a nation.
2. One who takes no side in a controversy: "I am by disposition one of life's neutrals, a human Switzerland" (John Gregory Dunne).
3. A neutral hue.
4. A position in which a set of gears is disengaged so that power cannot be transmitted.

[Middle English neuteral, from Old French neutral, from Latin neutrālis, grammatically neuter, from neuter, neutr-; see NEUTER.]

neutral·ly adv.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
Neu·tral (ntrəl, ny-)
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n. pl. Neutral or Neu·trals
A member of a confederacy of Iroquoian-speaking Native American peoples formerly inhabiting the northern shore of Lake Erie. The Neutral were destroyed by the Iroquois in the mid-1600s.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 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:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    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.

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