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 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.’
    • ‘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 temptation to regard the 30-year-old as an indispensable thoroughbred can prove irresistible to Rangers supporters and neutral connoisseurs.’
    • ‘For them the quality and standard of the game is a side issue that is of importance only to the neutral supporters.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘After all, how many Premiership sides have separate turnstiles for neutral supporters?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘British government was far from neutral in the conflict in the North.’
    • ‘Whereas in many international conflict situations the UN plays a neutral role, here in Israel and the territories the very opposite is the case.’
    • ‘If you claimed you were neutral either side would kill you.’
    • ‘We could oppose the war on the streets, support it or remain awkwardly neutral (although few chose the latter option).’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Most people either are neutral or side with Randy.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘US aircraft dropped more bombs on Laos, a neutral nation, during the conflict than the combined tonnage dropped in the Second World War.’
    • ‘This should be enough to make any neutral observer support them, but there is a more important cause.’
    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. 1.1 Belonging to an impartial group or state.
      ‘the trial should be held on neutral ground’
      • ‘Geneva is the best place to showcase these, as Switzerland has no car industry and is seen as neutral ground.’
      • ‘Williams would seem to be claiming that these metaphysicians and epistemologists stand on neutral ground when deciding between various ways of reaching agreement.’
      • ‘In a twist of almost malicious irony, his home was the closest they had to neutral ground.’
      • ‘There is little neutral ground when it comes to sovereignty.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I played an influential role that the trial should be on neutral ground.’
      • ‘If the comment helps the paper, or even if it is neutral, in my opinion, it is best to comply with the suggestion.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Inns were neutral ground, where there would be no theft.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The people had a much more neutral opinion of wizards in the northern lands, so Tredias didn't really care to change their minds.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As I grew older, restaurants were our neutral ground, where we would go to talk.’
      • ‘It should be at a neutral ground which is nearer to both clubs.’
      • ‘Carlow and Laois have clashed on two occasions on neutral ground, in Athy and Kilkenny, Carlow winning both.’
      • ‘Territories were well-demarcated, but the boys respected the churchyard as neutral ground.’
  • 2Having no strongly marked or positive characteristics or features.

    ‘her tone was neutral, devoid of sentiment’
    • ‘Samuel looked down at Lisa knowing what she was doing but he chose to keep his facial features neutral.’
    • ‘The background is neutral, and appears to be a close-up photo of the cracked landscape of some dry, dry land.’
    • ‘All of the faces that the participants viewed had expressions that were neutral and not characterized by any emotion.’
    • ‘Sit the subject in a chair some distance away from a neutral background, and turn the chair 45 degrees to the camera.’
    • ‘In June, Los Angeles Times reporter Benedict Carey wrote a story about scientific research conducted on neutral facial expressions.’
    • ‘Their art shows large, solitary figures of animals, birds and people, often from different angles, floating on a neutral background.’
    • ‘Support for a neutral data description language is necessary in order to adapt to any data format.’
    • ‘I mean for the term ‘activist medicine’ to be neutral, rather than positive or pejorative.’
    • ‘For a quick start add pattern to a neutral background rather than a patterned one.’
    • ‘Persons with a positive or more neutral experience may not feel as compelled to speak out or to participate in such research.’
    • ‘The earlier, prescriptive sense of the term continues to be used, but the later, more neutral sense is common among scholars of language.’
    • ‘Jack looked to her mother, his features carefully neutral.’
    • ‘Without that view, you might want a bit more color in the room, but in this case, the room provides a perfect neutral background against which the calming blue waters can truly stand out.’
    • ‘She knew that her worries and fears were obvious on her face, and wondered how the other woman could keep her features so neutral.’
    • ‘Painted against neutral, empty backgrounds, the figures appear to be watching the viewer.’
    • ‘I keep my face utterly neutral as I think, but I consider myself safe.’
    • ‘But it is all set in deliberately neutral terms, implying that this debate is always an honest one, which it is not.’
    • ‘She schooled her features to remain neutral and took another bite of her breakfast as if she were giving his proposal careful consideration.’
    • ‘Dark animals photograph best with light colored or neutral backgrounds.’
    • ‘I'd rather have a sliver of prosciutto or a wheel of spicy sausage than neutral, inoffensive chicken any day.’
    • ‘She photographs her isolated specimens against a neutral background.’
    • ‘Colour fidelity is also excellent, and there are beautiful examples of the reds of Roman uniforms contrasted against neutral backgrounds and blue skies.’
    • ‘A well-lit, quiet room with a clean, neutral background are a necessity for an effective videoconferencing space.’
    inoffensive, bland, unobjectionable, unexceptionable, anodyne, unremarkable, ordinary, commonplace, run-of-the-mill, everyday
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    1. 2.1 Of or denoting a pale grey, cream, or beige colour.
      ‘walls are painted in neutral tones’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Colours range from neutral creams and beige to khaki, navy, grey and black.’
      • ‘Instead of the bold patterns and colours that are typical of that continent, I've used plain designs and neutral colours.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Because of its strong enhancing effect it leaves a noticeable magenta colour bias in the more neutral hues or tones (the whites and greys).’
      • ‘Then there's the decor: understated with clean and uncluttered lines, the colour scheme predominantly neutral shades of black, white, beige and putty.’
      • ‘The 6% sunlight environment was created by using layers of neutral shade cloth supported by metal frames.’
      • ‘There are neutral colour schemes throughout and wool carpets in the bedrooms.’
      • ‘Like the hall, the room had been decorated in rather neutral colours, the beige floor carrying on into this room also.’
      • ‘Wear it with neutral tones of grey and navy for a modern look.’
      • ‘When you really want to flatter your eyes, go for sheer, neutral shadow colors like beige or pale banana-yellow.’
      • ‘However, in these new works, intersecting circles expand into large mandalalike shapes that stand alone on neutral grounds.’
      • ‘The master bedroom is decorated in neutral tones of beige and cream and features built-in wardrobes and an original cast-iron fireplace.’
      • ‘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 carpet is pale green and the walls are a neutral colour.’
      • ‘It was blandly decorated, the walls painted a very neutral tone of beige, and adorned with a few pictures of waving cornfields.’
      • ‘From a distance this crowd looked a uniformly nondescript plaster colour, a neutral tone made up chiefly of faded blue and dirty grey.’
      • ‘For the more conservative customer the store has a Colonial section with classic linens, cottons and neutral colours.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘No matter what the bright colours, whether orange, sweet pink tones, neutral colours or just black and white, they will all be widely seen.’
      pale, pastel, light-toned
      View synonyms
  • 3Chemistry
    Neither acid nor alkaline; having a pH of about 7.

    ‘a neutral solution’
    ‘neutral soil conditions’
    • ‘Ideally, maples like neutral to acid soil with the addition of peat.’
    • ‘Pure water has a pH of 7, it is completely neutral.’
    • ‘A litmus paper can be used to find out whether the soil is acidic, alkaline or neutral.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Aqueous solutions of caffeine have a neutral pH.’
  • 4Having neither a positive nor negative electrical charge.

    ‘live and neutral contacts on plugs’
    • ‘Hook up the pigtail ground wire to the ground screw on the receptacle, and the pigtail neutral wire to the silver side.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Whenever an English club reaches a European final there are always 90-minute patriots urging neutrals to cheer for the English team.’
    • ‘A victory for minds over hearts, then, but for passionate Italians - and perhaps a majority of neutrals - there is scant consolation in this.’
    • ‘Watching the Conservative Party leadership contest, political neutrals are unsure whether to laugh or cry.’
    • ‘For all that, very few of those same neutrals would now bet against either country in this silliest of seasons.’
    • ‘Obviously, neutrals won't give us a chance and a lot of Wexford people won't either.’
    • ‘The commission has no suggestions about how to engage in those battles, who to choose as allies and who to identify as neutrals.’
    • ‘In seeking to forge a global, US-led coalition to prosecute an all-out war on terrorism, officials are saying, in effect, that there are no neutrals any more.’
    • ‘Even for those of us trying to play the fair-minded neutral, it's hard to whip up sympathy for a UUP that might soon be receiving the last rites, because the Ulster Unionists have done little to cultivate the sympathies of neutrals.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In their present relationship with the terrorists, these old-fashioned autocrats are neutrals only in the sense that they now play the cagier role of Franco's Spain to Hitler's Germany.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There are no true neutrals and none that is really independent.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Dissent may have challenged nationalism, but the presence of neutrals, the disaffected, and Tories never completely superseded the wider community of interests.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 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.’
    • ‘Once again, select a color that is close to your project, or select neutral and stain it afterward.’
    • ‘Short or long sleeved, with ruffles or beadwork, in brights and neutrals, they were everywhere, adding extra oomph to halter dresses and fitted tops.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Sometimes brown can be used as a neutral and sometimes as a warm color.’
    • ‘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’
    • ‘To get the same effect with a car using an engine - slipping the transmission into neutral and shutting down the engine - is hazardous.’
    • ‘He hurriedly moved the gear in neutral and tried the emergency brake.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 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/