Definition of neutral in English:

neutral

adjective

  • 1Not supporting or helping either side in a conflict, disagreement, etc.; impartial.

    ‘neutral and non-aligned European nations’
    • ‘It claims to be a neutral organisation, supported by academic researchers, but is starting from the point of view that there are important figures missing from the arguments so far put forward for wind.’
    • ‘This should be enough to make any neutral observer support them, but there is a more important cause.’
    • ‘For them the quality and standard of the game is a side issue that is of importance only to the neutral supporters.’
    • ‘It would be misleading to say that he is neutral as to the conflict between his desires, since this would suggest that he regards them as equally acceptable.’
    • ‘This competition, which the Sunday Herald is proud to support, must become a regular feature of the business calendar, and Scottish Enterprise's neutral support is crucial.’
    • ‘After all, how many Premiership sides have separate turnstiles for neutral supporters?’
    • ‘Most people either are neutral or side with Randy.’
    • ‘When confronted with a decision to take sides among two conflicting parties, it is always better to be fully devoted to one side than to be neutral.’
    • ‘If you claimed you were neutral either side would kill you.’
    • ‘Russia may still prefer to stay neutral in the bloody conflict with Iraq.’
    • ‘President Museveni of Uganda did not attend although Uganda did send a delegation, whilst Rwanda refused to take part, claiming that Zambia was no longer neutral in the conflict.’
    • ‘British government was far from neutral in the conflict in the North.’
    • ‘Pibulsongkram realised the Japanese were not about to let Thailand remain neutral in the conflict and it was either join or be occupied as a defeated power.’
    • ‘The temptation to regard the 30-year-old as an indispensable thoroughbred can prove irresistible to Rangers supporters and neutral connoisseurs.’
    • ‘Since the 1960s, with few exceptions, on the greatest questions of good and evil, the Left has either been neutral toward or actively supported evil.’
    • ‘The Taoiseach was in touch with most of his EU counterparts in the lead up to the summit and visited the other three neutral capitals and Rome to ensure support for the declaration.’
    • ‘However, while the EU has been valiantly trying to appear to be neutral in the Middle East conflict, the funding is a ripe area for confusion.’
    • ‘In many international conflict situations the UN plays a neutral role.’
    • ‘US aircraft dropped more bombs on Laos, a neutral nation, during the conflict than the combined tonnage dropped in the Second World War.’
    • ‘We could oppose the war on the streets, support it or remain awkwardly neutral (although few chose the latter option).’
    impartial, unbiased, unprejudiced, objective, without favouritism, open-minded, non-partisan, non-discriminatory, disinterested, even-handed, equitable, fair, fair-minded, dispassionate, detached, impersonal, unemotional, clinical, indifferent, removed
    unaligned, non-aligned, unaffiliated, unallied, non-allied, non-participating, uninvolved, non-interventionist
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Belonging to an impartial group or state.
      ‘the trial should be held on neutral ground’
      • ‘This means that service users in Keighley will either have to meet advocates at Airedale Hospital or travel to Bradford, as the neutral ground provided by the Keighley office will no longer be available to them.’
      • ‘You're both too young to remember but some famous people had to argue for Nuremberg because Nuremberg was on a neutral ground and they tried a nation who was at war for war crimes.’
      • ‘Carlow and Laois have clashed on two occasions on neutral ground, in Athy and Kilkenny, Carlow winning both.’
      • ‘In the interest of fairness, Munster Finals should be on neutral ground but once again the Munster Council showed its downright craziness by not fixing the match for Cork.’
      • ‘It should be at a neutral ground which is nearer to both clubs.’
      • ‘Williams would seem to be claiming that these metaphysicians and epistemologists stand on neutral ground when deciding between various ways of reaching agreement.’
      • ‘The Department of Peace Studies at the university is rated as the best in Europe and ranked second in the world, and also provides a neutral meeting ground for world officials.’
      • ‘The only good that may come out of it is the realization that in the war against Islamo-fascism, there isn't a neutral ground.’
      • ‘Members of the public can speak to a police officer on neutral ground in the supermarket's entrance area or, if they would like some privacy, in an adjoining office.’
      • ‘Such was the parity between the two teams that when they met on neutral ground in the inaugural Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 1987 that the result could only be a draw.’
      • ‘I agree that it puts them on neutral ground so the client would find it a lot more difficult to take out his anger or whatever you want to call it.’
      • ‘I played an influential role that the trial should be on neutral ground.’
      • ‘Geneva is the best place to showcase these, as Switzerland has no car industry and is seen as neutral ground.’
      • ‘Territories were well-demarcated, but the boys respected the churchyard as neutral ground.’
      • ‘Inns were neutral ground, where there would be no theft.’
      • ‘There is little neutral ground when it comes to sovereignty.’
      • ‘The people had a much more neutral opinion of wizards in the northern lands, so Tredias didn't really care to change their minds.’
      • ‘As I grew older, restaurants were our neutral ground, where we would go to talk.’
      • ‘If the comment helps the paper, or even if it is neutral, in my opinion, it is best to comply with the suggestion.’
      • ‘In a twist of almost malicious irony, his home was the closest they had to neutral ground.’
  • 2Having no strongly marked or positive characteristics or features.

    ‘her tone was neutral, devoid of sentiment’
    • ‘But it is all set in deliberately neutral terms, implying that this debate is always an honest one, which it is not.’
    • ‘I'd rather have a sliver of prosciutto or a wheel of spicy sausage than neutral, inoffensive chicken any day.’
    • ‘The earlier, prescriptive sense of the term continues to be used, but the later, more neutral sense is common among scholars of language.’
    • ‘I mean for the term ‘activist medicine’ to be neutral, rather than positive or pejorative.’
    • ‘I keep my face utterly neutral as I think, but I consider myself safe.’
    inoffensive, bland, unobjectionable, unexceptionable, anodyne, unremarkable, ordinary, commonplace, run-of-the-mill, everyday
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    1. 2.1Of or denoting a pale grey, cream, or beige colour.
      ‘walls are painted in neutral tones’
      • ‘Colours range from neutral creams and beige to khaki, navy, grey and black.’
      • ‘From a distance this crowd looked a uniformly nondescript plaster colour, a neutral tone made up chiefly of faded blue and dirty grey.’
      • ‘Like the hall, the room had been decorated in rather neutral colours, the beige floor carrying on into this room also.’
      • ‘Beginners may want to try neutral tones of beige and grey or different values of color in the same family for a tone on tone damask effect.’
      • ‘The master bedroom is decorated in neutral tones of beige and cream and features built-in wardrobes and an original cast-iron fireplace.’
      • ‘Wear it with neutral tones of grey and navy for a modern look.’
      • ‘No matter what the bright colours, whether orange, sweet pink tones, neutral colours or just black and white, they will all be widely seen.’
      • ‘This features a grey marble fireplace, ceiling coving, centre rose and a dado rail, and has been decorated in neutral tones with a cream patterned carpet.’
      • ‘It was blandly decorated, the walls painted a very neutral tone of beige, and adorned with a few pictures of waving cornfields.’
      • ‘A focal point of her final collection is a woollen skirt, blouse and long coat - all in neutral colours - with a cream silk organza overcoat on top.’
      • ‘She was about my age, and it was quickly apparent that we shared similar interests, tastes (natural neutral colours, pebbles and blue glass), and philosophy on life.’
      • ‘The carpet is pale green and the walls are a neutral colour.’
      • ‘Instead of the bold patterns and colours that are typical of that continent, I've used plain designs and neutral colours.’
      • ‘For the more conservative customer the store has a Colonial section with classic linens, cottons and neutral colours.’
      • ‘There are neutral colour schemes throughout and wool carpets in the bedrooms.’
      • ‘Then there's the decor: understated with clean and uncluttered lines, the colour scheme predominantly neutral shades of black, white, beige and putty.’
      • ‘Because of its strong enhancing effect it leaves a noticeable magenta colour bias in the more neutral hues or tones (the whites and greys).’
      • ‘When you really want to flatter your eyes, go for sheer, neutral shadow colors like beige or pale banana-yellow.’
      • ‘The 6% sunlight environment was created by using layers of neutral shade cloth supported by metal frames.’
      • ‘However, in these new works, intersecting circles expand into large mandalalike shapes that stand alone on neutral grounds.’
      pale, pastel, light-toned
      View synonyms
  • 3Chemistry
    Neither acid nor alkaline; having a pH of about 7.

    ‘a neutral solution’
    ‘neutral soil conditions’
    • ‘Clematis prefer a neutral to slightly alkaline soil, so add lime if your soil is on the acidic side. Keep the roots shaded and the tops in sun.’
    • ‘Ideally, maples like neutral to acid soil with the addition of peat.’
    • ‘A litmus paper can be used to find out whether the soil is acidic, alkaline or neutral.’
    • ‘Aqueous solutions of caffeine have a neutral pH.’
    • ‘Pure water has a pH of 7, it is completely neutral.’
  • 4Having neither a positive nor negative electrical charge.

    ‘live and neutral contacts on plugs’
    • ‘And that is what it does, but because the proton has a positive charge and the neutron is neutral, the nucleus somehow has to get rid of a positive charge.’
    • ‘Positively charged cations are smaller than their neutral atoms because they lose electrons.’
    • ‘Use a neon circuit tester to verify the power is off by touching one lead to an exposed black wire and the other to a metal box or to the neutral wire.’
    • ‘Hook up the pigtail ground wire to the ground screw on the receptacle, and the pigtail neutral wire to the silver side.’
    • ‘Here again, the water allows the charge to leak away, thus leaving the material neutral.’

noun

  • 1An impartial or unbiased state or person.

    ‘Sweden and its fellow neutrals’
    ‘I attended the Cup Final as a neutral’
    • ‘Wedgwood concedes that the U.S. government should ‘continue to respect the sovereignty of allies and neutrals.’’
    • ‘If you lie to an ally or a friendly neutral in a small matter, where you don't actually intend to declare war on him, you're sowing seeds of mistrust without gaining any great benefits.’
    • ‘Watching the Conservative Party leadership contest, political neutrals are unsure whether to laugh or cry.’
    • ‘There are no true neutrals and none that is really independent.’
    • ‘The commission has no suggestions about how to engage in those battles, who to choose as allies and who to identify as neutrals.’
    • ‘For all that, very few of those same neutrals would now bet against either country in this silliest of seasons.’
    • ‘Dissent may have challenged nationalism, but the presence of neutrals, the disaffected, and Tories never completely superseded the wider community of interests.’
    • ‘Obviously, neutrals won't give us a chance and a lot of Wexford people won't either.’
    • ‘But we neutrals will be ushered away (figuratively, I hope), leaving the stage set for a thumping reaffirmation of the view that Hadrian's Wall means far more than a few stones on a hill.’
    • ‘There are four neutrals in the current Union of 15 but the percentage will drop considerably after enlargement with six neutrals to the other 19, most of them NATO members.’
    • ‘For the neutrals, however, for those brought up on Munster championship hurling, the big question this weekend is, can Waterford and Limerick match the other two games we've had to date?’
    • ‘In fact the players are leaping out of their skins in training, and there's a very steely resolve to do down the odds and bring about what most neutrals would consider to be a fairly major championship shock on Sunday week.’
    • ‘Like many neutrals who will be in the Park on Sunday, I'll just sit back and enjoy what I think could be a fitting finale to what has been one of the most memorable years in Sligo's proud football history.’
    • ‘The government is unable to use the criterion of nationality to identify its adversaries, and immigrants are unable to invoke their status as neutrals to fend off suspicion.’
    • ‘The neutrals wanted drama, and the partisans sought entertainment, but no one could have imagined the difference between the two sides would come down to the breadth of a post in the final seconds.’
    • ‘A victory for minds over hearts, then, but for passionate Italians - and perhaps a majority of neutrals - there is scant consolation in this.’
    • ‘Whenever an English club reaches a European final there are always 90-minute patriots urging neutrals to cheer for the English team.’
  • 2mass noun Pale grey, cream, or beige.

    ‘classic shades of navy, white, and neutral’
    • ‘Every splash of white or neutral is anchored by a dose of black.’
    • ‘Short or long sleeved, with ruffles or beadwork, in brights and neutrals, they were everywhere, adding extra oomph to halter dresses and fitted tops.’
    • ‘Sometimes brown can be used as a neutral and sometimes as a warm color.’
    • ‘Once again, select a color that is close to your project, or select neutral and stain it afterward.’
    • ‘Visions of myself drifting around elegantly in neutrals like Meryl Streep in ‘Out Of Africa’ were soon shattered, however, by a trip to various adventure travel shops.’
    • ‘To punctuate the oh-so-cool neutrals, Oloroso's clean look gets some added oomph from a couple of bold saffron-yellow walls and the soft charcoal grey of the upholstery and carpet in the restaurant.’
  • 3mass noun A disengaged position of gears in which the engine is disconnected from the driven parts.

    ‘she slipped the gear into neutral’
    • ‘He may be coasting down a hill with the gears in neutral and the engine switched off; he may be steering a vehicle which is being towed by another.’
    • ‘He hurriedly moved the gear in neutral and tried the emergency brake.’
    • ‘It decided to stay about two-thirds open, which gives a tidy shove forward, and the only thing I could do was select neutral and try and turn off an engine which was fast trying to grenade itself.’
    • ‘To get the same effect with a car using an engine - slipping the transmission into neutral and shutting down the engine - is hazardous.’
  • 4An electrically neutral point, terminal, conductor, or wire.

    ‘Some boxes will have two bus bars, one for the ground wire, one for the neutral.’
    ‘If the power quality anomaly seems to be confined to data and communication equipment, try for 0.25 ohm resistance levels for equipment grounds and neutrals.’

Origin

Late Middle English (as a noun): from Latin neutralis ‘of neuter gender’, from Latin neuter (see neuter).

Pronunciation

neutral

/ˈnjuːtr(ə)l/