a beginner or novice: He's a neophyte at chess.
Roman Catholic Church. a novice.
a person newly converted to a belief, as a heathen, heretic, or nonbeliever; proselyte.
Primitive Church. a person newly baptized.

1540–50; < Late Latin neophytus newly planted < Greek neóphytos. See neo-, -phyte

neophytic [nee-uh-fit-ik] , neophytish [nee-uh-fahy-tish] , adjective
neophytism [nee-uh-fahy-tiz-uhm] , noun

1. greenhorn, tyro. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
neophyte (ˈniːəʊˌfaɪt)
1.  a person newly converted to a religious faith
2.  RC Church a novice in a religious order
3.  a novice or beginner
[C16: via Church Latin from New Testament Greek neophutos recently planted, from neos new + phuton a plant]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"new convert," c.1550, from L.L. neophytus, from Gk. neophytos, lit. "newly planted," from neos "new" + -phytos "planted," verbal adj. of phyein "cause to grow, beget, plant." Church sense is from I Tim. iii.6. Rare before 19c. General sense of "one who is new to any subject" is first recorded 1599.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Anyone but a neophyte, however, will find many of the selections quite familiar.
Pitching a tent can be frustrating for seasoned and neophyte campers alike.
This article was written by a neophyte and is so biased it is pathetic.
It's the quickest way for a neophyte investor to get burned.
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