neutral


neutral
neutral adj Neutral, negative, indifferent are comparable when they mean lacking decisiveness or distinctiveness in character, quality, action, or effect.
Neutral, in one of its earliest and still common senses, applies to states, governments, parties, or persons who refuse to take sides with either of two or any of several contending parties. The term need not imply an attitude of impartiality, but it usually implies either indecision or a refraining from positive action
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his family connections kept him neutral, and the household was never drawn into the war— Buchan

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Revolutionary verse . . . makes the neutral reader wonder whether it is aimed to win him for the communist or fascist state—Day Lewis

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the bucks bridled a little when I came in, and then ignored me. Once the atmosphere had become neutral again, Thompson was willing to talk— Mailer

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When otherwise applied (as to colors or terms, to a character or personality, to a substance in chemistry, or to an entity in philosophy) neutral implies a quality, an appearance, or a reaction that belongs to neither of two opposites or extremes; the term therefore often connotes vagueness, indefiniteness, indecisiveness, ineffectualness; thus, a neutral character is one that reveals neither positive virtues nor positive vices; a chemically neutral substance (as distilled water) is neither acid nor basic; a neutral color (as taupe) is not clearly or positively any definite color, often because it verges on gray
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the artists of the Far East . . . use positive tints quite sparingly, giving them for foil large spaces of neutral tone— Binyon

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the land itself cannot be described as rich or poor, good or bad, favorable or unfavorable. The land is entirely neutral—P. E. James

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atomic .[/i] . . was until 1945 as emotionally neutral a word as pyroborate or hygrometric. But since the explosion at Hiroshima it has assumed a new implication— Savory

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Negative carries a stronger implication than neutral of absence of positive or affirmative (compare AFFIRMATIVE) characteristics or qualities; the term therefore usually implies inaction, ineffectiveness, or a failure to assume a definite or concrete form
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there is certainly a vague and widespread discontent with our present results [in education]; but it is all a negative opinion— Benson

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so much of the dream was described in negative . . . terms: no hostility, no friendliness, not feared, not welcomed, not grateful, not anxious— Kelman

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the negative happiness that follows the release from anxiety and tension— Huxley

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Indifferent (see also INDIFFERENT 1, MEDIUM) implies a character or appearance that does not readily define itself or fall into any clearly marked class or category; the term is applicable to things or occasionally to persons that stir up no feeling or elicit no decision as to whether they are good or bad, in accordance with one's principles or not, necessary or unnecessary, or pleasant or unpleasant
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though they disliked each other, they could converse at length upon indifferent subjects

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either one attitude is better than the other, or else it is indifferent—T. S. Eliot

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the injustice ... in making penal an act which when committed seemed innocent or at least indifferentRadin

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nature is indifferent to the survival of the human species, including Americans—/!. E. Stevenson

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Contrasted words: biased, disposed, predisposed (see INCLINE vb): positive, *affirmative: *decided, decisive

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • neutral — neutral …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • Neutral — Neu tral, a. [L. neutralis, fr. neuter. See {Neuter}.] 1. Not engaged on either side; not taking part with or assisting either of two or more contending parties; neuter; indifferent. [1913 Webster] The heart can not possibly remain neutral, but… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • neutral — NEUTRÁL, Ă, neutrali, e, adj. 1. (Rar) Neutru (1). 2. (Despre sensul cuvintelor) Care este indiferent faţă de genul (feminin sau masculin) indicat de forma cuvântului; care se poate referi la obiecte de orice gen. 3. (chim.; rar) Neutru (4). [pr …   Dicționar Român

  • neutral — neu·tral 1 n: one that is neutral; specif: an impartial person used in alternative dispute resolution to help resolve or to determine the matters in dispute neutral 2 adj: not engaged on either side; specif: not aligned with a political or… …   Law dictionary

  • neutral — [no͞o′trəl, nyo͞o′trəl] adj. [Fr < ML neutralis < L, of neuter gender < neuter: see NEUTER] 1. a) not taking part in either side of a dispute or quarrel b) not taking part in a war; giving no active aid to any belligerent 2. of,… …   English World dictionary

  • neutral — adjetivo 1. Que no se inclina por ninguna de dos partes opuestas o enfrentadas o no favorece a ninguna de ellas: espectador neutral, actitud neutral, palabras neutrales. Sinónimo: imparcial. 2. [Nación, Estado] que no interviene en un conflicto… …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • Neutral — Neu tral, n. A person or a nation that takes no part in a contest between others; one who is neutral. [1913 Webster] The neutral, as far as commerce extends, becomes a party in the war. R. G. Harper. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Neutral — Neutrāl, er, ste, adj. et adv. aus dem spätern Lat. neutralis, keiner Partey zugethan; unparteyisch. Neutral seyn. Neutrale Mächte, im Kriege, welche keine von den kriegführenden Mächten mit Rath oder That unterstützen; in welchem Falle sich das… …   Grammatisch-kritisches Wörterbuch der Hochdeutschen Mundart

  • -neutral — [ nutrəl ] suffix used with some nouns to make adjectives meaning not affected by a particular thing: race neutral admissions gender neutral policies …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • neutral — Adj std. (15. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus l. neutrālis, dieses aus l. neuter keiner von beiden , aus l. ne nicht und l. uter einer von beiden (Neutrum). Abstraktum: Neutralität; Verb: neutralisieren.    Ebenso nndl. neutraal, ne. neutral, nfrz …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache


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