Definition of neither in English:


pronoun & determiner

  • Not the one nor the other of two people or things; not either.

    [as determiner] ‘neither side of the brain is dominant over the other’
    [as pronoun] ‘neither of us believes it’


  • 1Used before the first of two (or occasionally more) alternatives that are being specified (the others being introduced by “nor”) to indicate that they are each untrue or each do not happen.

    ‘I am neither a liberal nor a conservative’
  • 2Used to introduce a further negative statement.

    ‘he didn't remember, and neither did I’


1 The use of neither with another negative, as in I don't like him neither or not much good at reading neither is recorded from the 16th century onward, but is not thought to be good English. This is because it is an example of a double negative, which, though standard in some other languages such as Spanish and found in many dialects of English, is not acceptable in standard English. In the sentences above, either should be used instead. For more information, see double negative. 2 When neither is followed by nor, it is important in good English style that the two halves of the structure mirror each other: she saw herself as neither wife nor mother rather than she neither saw herself as wife nor mother. For more details, see either


  • neither here nor there

    • Of no importance or relevance.

      • ‘But to a big-time publisher it is neither here nor there.’
      • ‘Whether I believed it or not is neither here nor there.’
      • ‘Viewed in this light, the fact that the parties to Acton stipulated that the bargain should be confidential is neither here nor there as to its relevance.’
      • ‘But temperament in and of itself is neither here nor there.’
      • ‘Misspelled my name, by the way, but that's neither here nor there.’
      • ‘The fact is these players have fallen afoul of the system; which club they play for is neither here nor there.’
      • ‘Damp feelings of quiet dread are neither here nor there.’
      • ‘The fact that if that's their best argument, they don't really have one is neither here nor there in the long run; the end result is that it helps their cause.’
      • ‘But that's all insider mumbo-jumbo which is really neither here nor there.’
      • ‘However unappealing, this outbreak of boasting is probably neither here nor there to the individuals whose agonies initially provoked it.’
      inconsequential, insignificant, unimportant, of little importance, of no importance, of little consequence, of no consequence, of little account, of no account, of no moment, incidental, inessential, non-essential, immaterial, irrelevant
      negligible, inappreciable, inconsiderable, slight, minor, trivial, trifling, petty, paltry, nugatory, not worth mentioning, not worth bothering about, not worth speaking of, insubstantial, silly, lightweight
      piddling, fiddling, piffling
      small-bore, picayune
      View synonyms


Middle English: alteration (by association with either) of Old English nawther, contraction of nāhwæther (from nā no + hwæther whether).