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[nee-ol-uh-jiz-uh m] /niˈɒl əˌdʒɪz əm/
a new word, meaning, usage, or phrase.
the introduction or use of new words or new senses of existing words.
a new doctrine, especially a new interpretation of sacred writings.
Psychiatry. a new word, often consisting of a combination of other words, that is understood only by the speaker: occurring most often in the speech of schizophrenics.
1790-1800; < French néologisme. See neology, -ism
Related forms
neologist, noun
neologistic, neologistical, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for neologisms
  • We humans are creative about producing neologisms to delineate new worldviews or concepts.
  • The books are dry, full of scientific neologisms, but extremely funny and thought-provoking.
  • The words in it are chiefly neologisms, e g, airplane.
  • Jargon and neologisms do not change the reality of aging, or of anything else.
British Dictionary definitions for neologisms


noun (pl) -gisms, -gies
a newly coined word, or a phrase or familiar word used in a new sense
the practice of using or introducing neologisms
(rare) a tendency towards adopting new views, esp rationalist views, in matters of religion
Derived Forms
neologist, noun
neologistic, neologistical, neological (ˌnɪəˈlɒdʒɪkəl) adjective
neologistically, neologically, adverb
Word Origin
C18: via French from neo- + -logism, from Greek logos word, saying
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for neologisms



"practice of innovation in language," 1776, from French néologisme, from neo- (see neo-) + Greek logos "word" (see lecture (n.)). Meaning "new word or expression" is from 1803. Neological is attested from 1754.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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neologisms in Medicine

neologism ne·ol·o·gism (nē-ŏl'ə-jĭz'əm)
A meaningless word used by a psychotic.

ne·ol'o·gis'tic or ne·ol'o·gis'ti·cal adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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