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
He knew so little of the real life of these neophytes as never to suspect that
  their conduct and character were far from ascetic.
But neophytes are often left with the belief that they are sea kayakers in the
  literal sense of the term.
And they are why it is so easy for pint- and quart-sized neophytes to believe.
Talking about the disease is the last thing these neophytes really want.
Related Words
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