Etymology
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neutral (n.)

mid-15c., "one who takes no part in a contest between others, one who has a neutral opinion," from Latin neutralis "of neuter gender," (see neutral (adj.)). Meaning "disengaged position in gear mechanisms" is by 1905.

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neutral (adj.)

1540s, in alchemy, "composed of contrasting elements which, in proper proportion, neutralize each other," also, of states, rulers, etc., "refraining from taking sides in a fight, not engaged on or interfering with either side" (probably from a similar meaning of neutralis in Medieval Latin), from Latin neutralis, from neuter "neither the one nor the other, neither of two" (see neuter (adj.)).

By 1550s of persons. Chemistry sense of "exhibiting neither acid nor alkaline qualities" is from 1660s. From 1711 in the sense of "of or belonging to a power not taking sides in a war or conflict." Of colors, "of low chroma, without positive quality of color," from 1821. Neutral corner is from boxing (1908), indicating the two corners of the ring not used between rounds by the fighters and their seconds.

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neutralize (v.)

1734, "to render neutral" (in a chemical sense), from French neutraliser (17c.), from neutral (see neutral (adj.)). Meaning "to counterbalance, render inoperative, invalidate" is by 1795; as an underworld euphemism for "to kill (someone)," by 1987. The intransitive sense "remain neutral" is older (1660s) but is now obsolete. Related: Neutralized; neutralizing.

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neutrality (n.)

late 15c., neutralite, "neutral attitude or position, the middle ground" (also "the neutral party in any dispute," Caxton, a sense now obsolete), from Old French neutralite (14c.) or directly from Medieval Latin neutralitatem (nominative neutralitas), from Latin neutralis (see neutral (adj.)). Meaning "state or condition of being unengaged in a dispute or contest between others" is by 1560s.

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neutron (n.)

"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, which releases a large number of lethal neutrons but produces little blast, is from 1960. Neutron star attested from 1934, originally hypothetical; so called because it would be composed of densely packed neutrons.

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neuter (adj.)

late 14c., neutre, in grammar, of nouns, pronouns, etc., "neither masculine nor feminine in gender," also of verbs, "having middle or reflexive meaning, neither active nor passive," 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). The Latin word is probably a loan-translation of Greek oudeteros "neither, neuter." From 1520s it also had the sense of "taking neither side" which now generally goes with neutral (adj.).

As a noun from mid-15c., "the neuter gender;" by 1797 of certain animals (among bees, ants, etc.) that are of neither sex and incapable of generation.

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unisex (adj.)
"sexually indistinguishable or neutral," 1968, from uni- + sex (n.).
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layperson (n.)
1972, gender-neutral version of layman.
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non-political (adj.)

also nonpolitical, by 1826, "not concerned with or influenced by political motivations, politically neutral," from non- + political.

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-in (2)
word-forming element in chemistry, usually indicating a neutral substance, antibiotic, vitamin, or hormone; a modification and specialized use of -ine (2).
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