Definition of neutrality in US English:



  • 1The state of not supporting or helping either side in a conflict, disagreement, etc.; impartiality.

    ‘during the war, Switzerland maintained its neutrality’
    • ‘Switzerland joined the League of Nations, whose headquarters were in Geneva, but regards membership in the UN as incompatible with its neutrality.’
    • ‘Despite its neutrality, Belgium was attacked by the Germans in 1914 in order to circumvent the French fortifications along the Franco-German border.’
    • ‘In every important strike the bourgeois press is forced to drop its spurious neutrality.’
    • ‘In reality, as the conflict in Bosnia cruelly showed, neutrality can become discreditable as well as counterproductive.’
    • ‘They also asked government workers to maintain political neutrality in the upcoming parliamentary votes.’
    • ‘Hitherto the question of neutrality or intervention had been largely theoretical.’
    • ‘The claim to moral neutrality, sometimes made by strategists, is another shortcoming identified by critics.’
    • ‘But geographic remoteness alone did not determine America's neutrality.’
    • ‘Even the high principles of liberal internationalism, with an emphasis on the League of Nations and collective security, made neutrality problematic.’
    • ‘During a speech in Athens she said concerns over neutrality had been addressed at the recent EU summit in Seville.’
    • ‘Moreover, the positive side to Irish neutrality, our promotion of diplomatic settlements, our proud UN peacekeeping traditions, must be maintained.’
    • ‘Complete impartiality and neutrality are the necessary conditions for winning the trust of the conflicting sides.’
    • ‘For anyone who sees this fact clearly, neutrality, silence or private disapproval are not options.’
    • ‘It also reconfirmed its anti-militarism manifest in its tiny regular army and long-standing neutrality.’
    • ‘They are opposed on a lot of grounds, but mainly out of a sense of fear for Bulgarian safety and neutrality.’
    • ‘Our neutrality would have eliminated any need for the German submarine offensive in the Atlantic and so would have kept America out of the war too.’
    • ‘The adversarial system, and the public and official neutrality of the decision makers, are closely related.’
    • ‘The alleged neutrality of the UN is a fiction.’
    • ‘His comments were the third time in recent days where a government minister has interpreted Ireland's neutrality.’
    • ‘Japan concluded the Anglo-Japanese Alliance to ensure that London maintained a benevolent neutrality.’
    impartiality, lack of bias, lack of prejudice, objectivity, open-mindedness, disinterestedness, even-handedness, fairness, fair-mindedness, detachment
    non-alignment, non-participation, non-involvement, non-intervention, non-interventionism, non-combativeness
    View synonyms
  • 2Absence of decided views, expression, or strong feeling.

    ‘the clinical neutrality of the description’
    • ‘For the museum, abandoning the neutrality of its public presentation may also mean a symbolic abandonment of objectivity.’
    • ‘In each trial (negative, positive and neutral), the actress used facial expressions and vocal emotional signals while talking about the toy to convey fear, happiness or neutrality.’
    • ‘The voice returns to bland neutrality.’
    • ‘Architectural projects of our day are often impudent and arrogant, and our age seems to have lost the virtue of architectural neutrality, restraint, and modesty.’
  • 3The condition of being chemically or electrically neutral.

    • ‘A sodium ion was introduced into the system to reach overall electrical neutrality.’