Words related to neutral

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.

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.

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.

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.