neurosurgeon (n.) Look up neurosurgeon at
also neuro-surgeon, 1887, from neuro- + surgeon. Related: Neurosurgery; neurosurgical.
neurotic (adj.) Look up neurotic at
1775, "acting upon or stimulating the nerves," from Greek neuron "nerve" (see neuro-) + -otic, as in hypnotic. Sense of "affected by neurosis" is 1887. The noun meaning "a neurotic person" is from 1896. Related: Neurotically.
neuroticism (n.) Look up neuroticism at
1894, from neurotic + -ism.
neurotransmitter (n.) Look up neurotransmitter at
1961, from neuro- + transmitter.
neuter (v.) Look up neuter at
1903, from neuter (adj.). Originally in reference to pet cats. Related: Neutered; neutering.
neuter (adj.) Look up neuter at
late 14c., of grammatical gender, "neither masculine nor feminine," from Latin neuter "of the neuter gender," literally "neither one nor the other," from ne- "not, no" (from PIE root *ne- "not") + uter "either (of two)" (see whether). Probably a loan-translation of Greek oudeteros "neither, neuter." In 16c., it had the sense of "taking neither side, neutral."
neutral (adj.) Look up neutral at
late 15c., "composed of contrasting elements which, in proper proportion, neutralize each other," from Middle French neutral, from Latin neutralis "of neuter gender," from neuter (see neuter (adj.)). Chemistry sense is from 1660s. Sense of "not taking sides in a fight" (1540s) probably is from a similar meaning in Medieval Latin. Of colors, from 1821. Neutral corner is from boxing (1908).
neutral (n.) Look up neutral at
mid-15c., "one who remains neutral," from Latin neutralis "of neuter gender," (see neutral (adj.)). Meaning "disengaged position in gear mechanisms" is from 1912.
neutrality (n.) Look up neutrality at
late 15c., "the neutral party in any dispute," from Middle French neutralite (14c.) or directly from Medieval Latin neutralitatem (nominative neutralitas), from Latin neutralis (see neutral). Meaning "a neutral attitude" is from late 15c.
neutralization (n.) Look up neutralization at
1747, from neutralize + noun ending -ation.
neutralize (v.) Look up neutralize at
1734, "to render neutral" (in a chemical sense), from French neutraliser (17c.), from neutral (see neutral (adj.)). Meaning "to counterbalance, to kill by opposing" is from 1795. Related: Neutralized; neutralizing.
neutrino (n.) Look up neutrino at
"neutral particle smaller than a neutron," 1934, from Italian neutrino, coined 1933 by Italian physicist Enrico Fermi (1901-1954) from neutro "neuter" (see neuter (adj.)) + -ino, diminutive suffix.
neutron (n.) Look up neutron at
"electrically neuter particle of the atom," 1921, coined by U.S. chemist William D. Harkins (1873-1951) from neutral (adj.) + -on. First record of neutron bomb is from 1960. Neutron star attested from 1934, originally hypothetical; so called because it would be composed of neutrons.
Nevada Look up Nevada at
U.S. state (organized as a territory 1861, admitted 1864), named for Sierra Nevada mountain range on its western boundary, literally "snowy mountains," from fem. of Spanish nevado "snowy" (see neve).
neve (n.) Look up neve at
"field of granular snow, firn," 1843, from French névé (19c.), probably from Savoyard névi "mass of snow," from Latin nivem (nominative nix) "snow" (source of French neige), from PIE root *sneigwh- "snow, to snow" (see snow (n.)).
never (adv.) Look up never at
Old English næfre "never," compound of ne "not, no" (from PIE root *ne- "not") + æfre "ever" (see ever). Early used as an emphatic form of not (as still in never mind). Old English, unlike its modern descendant, had the useful custom of attaching ne to words to create their negatives, as in nabban for na habban "not to have."

Italian giammai, French jamais, Spanish jamas are from Latin iam "already" + magis "more;" thus literally "at any time, ever," originally with a negative, but this has been so thoroughly absorbed in sense as to be formally omitted.

Phrase never say die "don't despair" is from 1818. Never Never Land is first attested in Australia as a name for the uninhabited northern part of Queensland (1884), perhaps so called because anyone who had gone there once never wished to return. Meaning "imaginary, illusory or utopian place" first attested 1900 in American English.
never-ending (adj.) Look up never-ending at
also neverending, 1660s, from never + present participle of end (v.).
never-was (n.) Look up never-was at
"person who never amounted to anything," 1911, from never + was; probably coined to go with used-to-be.
nevermind (n.) Look up nevermind at
also never-mind "difference, matter for attention," 1935, American English, from verbal expression never mind "forget it," originally never mind it attested by 1795; see never + mind (v.).
nevermore (adv.) Look up nevermore at
"no longer, not any more, never again," early 12c., from never + more (adv.).
nevertheless (adv.) Look up nevertheless at
c. 1300, neuer þe lesse; as one word from early 14c., neuerþeles. The sense of never here is "not at all; none the," as in unmerged expressions such as never the wiser, never the worse. Middle English also had neverthelater in same sense.
Nevin Look up Nevin at
surname and masc. proper name, from Irish/Gaelic Naomhin "little saint."
new (adj.) Look up new at
Old English neowe, niowe, earlier niwe "new, fresh, recent, novel, unheard-of, different from the old; untried, inexperienced," from Proto-Germanic *newjaz (source also of Old Saxon niuwi, Old Frisian nie, Middle Dutch nieuwe, Dutch nieuw, Old High German niuwl, German neu, Danish and Swedish ny, Gothic niujis "new"), from PIE *newo- "new" (source also of Sanskrit navah, Persian nau, Hittite newash, Greek neos, Lithuanian naujas, Old Church Slavonic novu, Russian novyi, Latin novus, Old Irish nue, Welsh newydd "new").

The adverb is Old English niwe, from the adjective. New math in reference to a system of teaching mathematics based on investigation and discovery is from 1958. New World (adj.) to designate phenomena of the Western Hemisphere first attested 1823, in Lord Byron; the noun phrase is recorded from 1550s. New Deal in the FDR sense attested by 1932. New school in reference to the more advanced or liberal faction of something is from 1806. New Left (1960) was a coinage of U.S. political sociologist C. Wright Mills (1916-1962). New light in reference to religions is from 1640s. New frontier, in U.S. politics, "reform and social betterment," is from 1934 but associated with John F. Kennedy's use of it in 1960.
New Age (adj.) Look up New Age at
1971, in reference to a modern spiritual movement, from new + age (n.). It had been used at various times at least since the 1840s.
New England Look up New England at
1616, named by Capt. John Smith. As an adjective, New English (1630s) is older than New Englandish (1863).
New Jersey Look up New Jersey at
named 1664 by one of the proprietors, Sir George Carteret, for his home, the Channel island of Jersey. Jersey girl attested from 1770.
New Orleans Look up New Orleans at
founded 1718 as Nouvelle Orléans, in honor of French regent Philippe, duc d'Orléans (1674–1723). The name was Englished after the place as purchased by the U.S. in 1803.
New Wave Look up New Wave at
1960, of cinema (from French Nouvelle Vague, late 1950s); 1976 as a name for the more restrained and melodic alternative to punk rock.
New Year's Eve Look up New Year's Eve at
c. 1300; "þer þay dronken & dalten ... on nwe gerez euen." The Julian calendar began on January 1, but the Christian Church frowned on pagan celebrations of this and chose the Feast of the Annunciation (March 25) as its New Year's Day. The civic year in England continued to begin January 1 until late 12c., and even though legal documents then shifted to March 25, popular calendars and almanacs continued to begin on January 1. The calendar reform of 1751 restored the Julian New Year. New Year's was the main midwinter festival in Scotland from 17c., when Protestant authorities banned Christmas, and continued so after England reverted to Christmas, hence the Scottish flavor ("Auld Lang Syne," etc.). New Year's gathering in public places began 1878 in London, after new bells were installed in St. Paul's.
New York Look up New York at
former New Amsterdam (city), New Netherlands (colony), renamed after British acquisition in 1664 in honor of the Duke of York and Albany (1633-1701), the future James II, who had an interest in the territory. See York. Related: New Yorker. New York minute "very short time" attested by 1976.
Some of Mr. Gregory's poems have merely appeared in The New Yorker; others are New Yorker poems: the inclusive topicality, the informed and casual smartness, the flat fashionable irony, meaningless because it proceeds from a frame of reference whose amorphous superiority is the most definite thing about it--they are the trademark not simply of a magazine but of a class. [Randall Jarrell "Town Mouse, Country Mouse"]
New Zealand Look up New Zealand at
from Dutch Nieuw Zeeland, literally "new sea land," but chiefly a reference to the Dutch province of Zeeland. Discovered 1647 by Dutch explorer Abel Tasman and originally named Staaten Landt; the name was changed the following year by Dutch authorities.
new-made (adj.) Look up new-made at
c. 1400, from new + made.
newbie (n.) Look up newbie at
"newcomer, new person to an existing situation," by 1969, from new with diminutive or derogatory suffix. Perhaps originally U.S. military slang. Compare noob. Middle English had newing "a new thing" (early 15c.); new was used as a noun meaning "naval cadet during first training on a ship" (1909); and newie "new thing" is recorded from 1947.
newborn (adj.) Look up newborn at
also new-born, c. 1300, from new + born. As a noun from 1879.
newcomer (n.) Look up newcomer at
"recent arrival," mid-15c., with agent noun ending from new-come (past participle adjective), c. 1200, from Old English niwe cumen; see new + come (v.). Old English also used niwcumen as a noun meaning "newcomer, neophyte."
newel (n.) Look up newel at
mid-14c., "pillar from which steps of a winding staircase radiate," from Old French noel, novel "knob, newel, kernel, stone" (Modern French noyau), from Vulgar Latin *nodellus "little knot," diminutive of Latin nodulus, diminutive of nodus "knot" (see net (n.)). Klein's sources suggest the French word may be from Gallo-Roman *nucale, from Latin nux "nut." The meaning "post at the top or bottom of a staircase" is from 1833.
newfangled (adj.) Look up newfangled at
late 15c., "addicted to novelty," literally "ready to grasp at all new things," from adjective newefangel "fond of novelty" (late 14c.), from new + -fangel "inclined to take," from Proto-Germanic *fanglon "to grasp," from nasalized form of PIE root *pag- "to fasten" (compare fang). Sense of "lately come into fashion" first recorded 1530s. Fanglement "act of fashioning; something made" is from 1660s. Middle English had gar-fangel "fish-spear."
newfound (adj.) Look up newfound at
also new-found, late 15c., from new + found (adj.) "discovered."
Newfoundland Look up Newfoundland at
1585, from newfound + land (n.). In reference to a type of dog, from 1773. Related: Newfoundlander. Colloquial shortening Newfie for the inhabitants or the place is recorded from 1942.
Newgate Look up Newgate at
1596, in reference to the famous London prison, which was torn down 1902-3.
newish (adj.) Look up newish at
1560s, from new + -ish.
newly (adv.) Look up newly at
Old English niwlice "lately, recently;" see new + -ly (2). Similar formation in German neulich, Danish nylig, Swedish nyligen.
newlywed (n.) Look up newlywed at
also newly-wed, 1907, from newly + wed. Probably owes its origin to a then-popular newspaper comic strip, "The Newlyweds and Their Baby," about Mr. and Mrs. Newlywed, by George McManus in the New York "World." As an adjective, newly-wed is attested from 1833. An earlier adjective was new-married (1530s). Ancient Greek had neo-zygos "newly married," literally "newly yoked."
newness (n.) Look up newness at
Old English neownysse; see new + -ness.
news (v.) Look up news at
"to tell as news," 1640s, from news (n.). Related: Newsed; newsing.
news (n.) Look up news at
late 14c., "new things," plural of new (n.) "new thing," from new (adj.); after French nouvelles, used in Bible translations to render Medieval Latin nova (neuter plural) "news," literally "new things." Sometimes still regarded as plural, 17c.-19c. Meaning "tidings" is early 15c. Meaning "radio or television program presenting current events" is from 1923. Bad news "unpleasant person or situation" is from 1926. Expression no news, good news can be traced to 1640s. Expression news to me is from 1889. And, no, it's not an acronym.

The News in the Virginia city Newport News is said to derive from the name of one of its founders, William Newce.
newsboy (n.) Look up newsboy at
also news-boy, 1764, from news (n.) + boy.
newscast (n.) Look up newscast at
1930, from news + -cast, from broadcast.
newsgroup (n.) Look up newsgroup at
by 1985, from news (n.) + group (n.).
newsie (n.) Look up newsie at
1875, short for newsboy.