Definition of neophyte in English:



  • 1A person who is new to a subject or activity.

    ‘four-day cooking classes are offered to neophytes and experts’
    [as modifier] ‘a cast of neophyte actors’
    • ‘The neophyte candidate claimed it was a security project run amok, making the whole affair reminiscent of Watergate: too much money pushing too many imaginative staffers toward too much mischief.’
    • ‘Merrifield, who received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wyoming, and is currently a Professor of Economics at the University of Texas at San Antonio, is no neophyte on the subject of school choice.’
    • ‘But teachers rarely do this sort of thing, as it threatens their livelihoods and, besides, they are only sitting beside the neophyte musician for about an hour a week.’
    • ‘As for the future, Washington offers the professional neophyte only his best wishes and a bit of advice he got from his own dad years ago.’
    • ‘And as far as the stuff that is really revolutionary, my neophyte status and lack of concrete knowledge when it comes to these things has prevented me from being able to really tackle the new and different within music.’
    • ‘It wasn't easy for a neophyte artist to break into the sometimes cutthroat toy business: When Kiwus was starting out, other artists wouldn't even share their secret recipes for sculpting wax.’
    • ‘The actual English teaching that gets done in this situation may be minimal, while the neophyte teacher is busy struggling for survival.’
    • ‘Furthermore, experienced inspectors knew what, when, and how to pursue a subject that is unlikely to occur to a neophyte.’
    • ‘Two men recently died, an ambitious neophyte politician and his political rival, in a bizarre shooting in New York's City Council chambers.’
    • ‘But the expectations being pinned to their neophyte shoulders are, to a degree, based upon what they might become more than what they are right now.’
    • ‘Being a neophyte, rookie and simpleton, I wasn't automatically in the mindset of gaming.’
    • ‘The neophyte actor, now 19, was plucked from a Scottish classroom some two years ago and cast in Sweet Sixteen, the stormy movie about a troubled young lad and his dealings with the mob.’
    • ‘Just as the new convert to Islam sees the work of God in all things, the Marxist neophyte is tempted to understand all human activity through the lens of the base/superstructure model.’
    • ‘DiMarco proves himself a capable director by sticking neophyte actors in extreme situations and then coaxing sober, appropriate responses from them.’
    • ‘Porteous says her cast of 13 neophyte and four professional actors have ‘really embraced’ the updated context.’
    • ‘A neophyte researcher in the subject would be helped to get literature, but I am sure that such a tender plant would soon suffer multiple-stresses associated with uncontrolled information overload lacking structure.’
    • ‘A muddled story, poor editing, a neophyte director, less-than-stellar special effects, and a couple poor casting choices have combined to make the movie a shadow of what it could have been.’
    • ‘When his neophyte cast pull it off, their exchanges have an appealingly edgy authenticity.’
    • ‘He was a hero for most black people in 1960, and his presence gave the neophyte activists a clear sense of their own contribution to the growing civil rights movement.’
    • ‘The neophyte politician, who has served just one term on the Burnsville City Council, turned heads this summer when it was announced that her campaign had raked in more than half a million dollars.’
    beginner, learner, novice, newcomer, new member, new entrant, new recruit, raw recruit, new boy, new girl, initiate, tyro, fledgling
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  • 2A new convert to a religion.

    • ‘The ‘little ones’ are believers, neophytes in the faith.’
    1. 2.1A novice in a religious order, or a newly ordained priest.
      • ‘I would even be caught reading The Idiot's Guide to Wicca & Witchcraft, which I admit is a very good book for neophytes of Wicca, Witchcraft, or Paganism, such as I am.’
      • ‘The tendency to start forming another church ‘is one of the primary sins that besets radical Christian neophytes.’’
      • ‘These young men are not merely neophytes of the church with special responsibility for leading chants at services, but are viewed as quasi-magicians in their own right.’
      • ‘Back in 1962, Hunthausen went off a neophyte to Rome having barely had time to read the voluminous documents written in Latin for the bishops' deliberations.’
      • ‘He has been teaching Clay about the Nation and the Muslim faith, and the neophyte is so taken with the religious leader that he begins calling himself Cassius X.’
      novice, novitiate
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Late Middle English: via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek neophutos, literally newly planted but first used in the sense new convert by St Paul (1 Tim. 3:6), from neos new + phuton plant.