Definition of neutral in English:

neutral

adjective

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

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

    ‘the tone was neutral, devoid of sentiment’
    ‘a fairly neutral background will make any small splash of color stand out’
    • ‘Dark animals photograph best with light colored or neutral backgrounds.’
    • ‘A well-lit, quiet room with a clean, neutral background are a necessity for an effective videoconferencing space.’
    • ‘For a quick start add pattern to a neutral background rather than a patterned one.’
    • ‘The background is neutral, and appears to be a close-up photo of the cracked landscape of some dry, dry land.’
    • ‘She knew that her worries and fears were obvious on her face, and wondered how the other woman could keep her features so neutral.’
    • ‘She schooled her features to remain neutral and took another bite of her breakfast as if she were giving his proposal careful consideration.’
    • ‘Support for a neutral data description language is necessary in order to adapt to any data format.’
    • ‘Painted against neutral, empty backgrounds, the figures appear to be watching the viewer.’
    • ‘Samuel looked down at Lisa knowing what she was doing but he chose to keep his facial features neutral.’
    • ‘Colour fidelity is also excellent, and there are beautiful examples of the reds of Roman uniforms contrasted against neutral backgrounds and blue skies.’
    • ‘Persons with a positive or more neutral experience may not feel as compelled to speak out or to participate in such research.’
    • ‘She photographs her isolated specimens against a neutral background.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    inoffensive, bland, unobjectionable, unexceptionable, anodyne, unremarkable, ordinary, commonplace, run-of-the-mill, everyday
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1Chemistry Neither acid nor alkaline; having a pH of about 7.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Ideally, maples like neutral to acid soil with the addition of peat.’
      • ‘Pure water has a pH of 7, it is completely neutral.’
    2. 2.2 Electrically neither positive nor negative.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Here again, the water allows the charge to leak away, thus leaving the material neutral.’

noun

  • 1An impartial or unbiased country or person.

    ‘he acted as a neutral between the parties’
    ‘Sweden and its fellow neutrals’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Wedgwood concedes that the U.S. government should ‘continue to respect the sovereignty of allies and 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.’
    • ‘Whenever an English club reaches a European final there are always 90-minute patriots urging neutrals to cheer for the English team.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Dissent may have challenged nationalism, but the presence of neutrals, the disaffected, and Tories never completely superseded the wider community of interests.’
    • ‘There are no true neutrals and none that is really independent.’
    • ‘A victory for minds over hearts, then, but for passionate Italians - and perhaps a majority of neutrals - there is scant consolation in this.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 commission has no suggestions about how to engage in those battles, who to choose as allies and who to identify as neutrals.’
    • ‘Obviously, neutrals won't give us a chance and a lot of Wexford people won't either.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Watching the Conservative Party leadership contest, political neutrals are unsure whether to laugh or cry.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘For all that, very few of those same neutrals would now bet against either country in this silliest of seasons.’
  • 2A neutral color or shade, especially light gray or beige.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 3A disengaged position of gears in which the engine is disconnected from the driven parts.

    ‘she slipped the gear into neutral’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He hurriedly moved the gear in neutral and tried the emergency brake.’
    • ‘To get the same effect with a car using an engine - slipping the transmission into neutral and shutting down the engine - is hazardous.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 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 neuter (see neuter).

Pronunciation:

neutral

/ˈn(y)o͞otrəl/